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May 2, 2024

Thank you for the opportunity to provide feedback on agenda items that will be tackled during this year’s World Health Assembly. GHTC urges US policymakers to prioritize the following actions to strengthen research and development (R&D) to address these urgent health challenges: 

  • On antimicrobial resistance (AMR), it is vital to bolster investments and incentives for R&D for new antimicrobials and other tools to fight AMR and to improve global surveillance and laboratory capacity. Innovations should be developed with the goal of promoting broad accessibility, including for vulnerable populations and those in low-resource settings. The United States should work with member states to support the resolution tabled under this agenda item and call for the creation of a global AMR laboratory network to strengthen diagnostic capacity. In advance of this year’s United Nations High-Level Meeting on AMR, we also urge the United States to push the relevant United Nations agencies to hold an open, inclusive consultative process to define global AMR priorities.
  • On maternal and child health, we welcome the draft resolution and its proposed language calling for increased R&D of health tools to address the specific medical needs of women and children, which are often neglected. We urge the United States to support the ongoing work of the Global Accelerator for Paediatric Formulations Network, or GAP-f, including prioritizing R&D for priority products on the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) Paediatric Antiretroviral Drug Optimization list. For pregnant women, we need to speed up and scale up access to preventive tools and treatments and include pregnant and lactating women in research and clinical trials to improve data quality and availability of therapeutic options.
  • On tuberculosis (TB) and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), we urge the United States to work with member states to substantially increase investments in R&D. To meet the goals of the Global Strategy for Tuberculosis Research and Innovation, member states must increase domestic investments in TB R&D in line with fair share targets and supercharge research efforts to develop novel vaccines, point-of-care diagnostics, and improved therapies while also ensuring tools are appropriate for all populations, including pregnant people and children. In implementing research efforts to support the NTD roadmap, member states and WHO should position impacted countries to lead in R&D priority-setting, promote South-South collaboration models, and consider the growing impact of climate change. For both TB and NTD innovations, the United States should work with WHO’s divisions on Science and Access to Medicines and Health Products, as well as member states to consider ways to better align the prequalification and regulatory approval processes to accelerate access to vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics.