Congressional briefing urges US to increase global health research and development

May 12, 2009 by PATH

PATH co-sponsors a panel discussion to highlight the benefits of scientific research for developing countries and the US

As US Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) remarks in a recent Congressional briefing, global health research benefits the US economy. Photo: Research!America/Allison Bland.

On May 5, PATH joined Research!America and the Congressional Research and Development Caucus to co-host a briefing on Capitol Hill highlighting the benefits of global health research to both the world and the United States. The briefing, entitled Why Global Health Research is Good for the US Economy, included remarks from US Representative Rush Holt (D-NJ), co-chair of the Congressional Research and Development Caucus.

“We have been under-investing in research,” Holt told members of Congress as he urged them to support more funding for research and development of solutions to health issues.

From micro- to macro-level views, Holt and other panelists explained how global health research and development not only benefit people in developing countries but also improve the lives of US residents by creating jobs, spurring economic growth, and fueling scientific breakthroughs. Speakers included Dr. Jo Ivey Boufford, president of the New York Academy of Medicine, Dr. Michael Johnson, deputy director of the Fogarty International Center at the National Institutes of Health, and Dr. Richard Love, professor of internal medicine and public health at the Ohio State University College of Medicine.

The United States is already poised to expand global health research. Recently President Obama announced his goal of devoting more than 3 percent of the US gross domestic product to research and development—a goal that he hopes will help the US regain its edge in scientific and technologic innovation.

Positive impact in Washington State

Rachel Wilson, director of policy and advocacy at PATH and a co-moderator of the event, provided examples of how global health research and development funds have a local impact in Washington State, where PATH is headquartered. Data gathered by the University of Washington and the Washington Global Health Alliance reflect the jobs and resources that have benefited the state while also creating new breakthroughs for the developing world.

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