The University of Pennsylvania’s Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel has created a stir in the world of global public health, with a controversial editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), which raises questions on the value of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR.
Emanuel notes that from 2003 to 2008, $20.4 billion was poured into PEPFAR, and during the three years that ended in 2011, more than $20 billion more was funneled into the program, bringing the number of people receiving treatment for HIV/AIDS to 4 million. Meanwhile, other health programs are not getting the same level of funding. Specifically, he notes:
“Neglected tropical diseases, such as schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthes, which affect approximately 1 billion people worldwide – and the very poorest of the world’s population – received a paltry $45 billion cumulatively in US global assistance over the 6 years.”
Laura Gaze, Senior Marketing Manager, IP Solutions: This topic strikes home for those of us Science side of the Intellectual Property and Science business of Thomson Reuters because we’ve been conducting extensive research on neglected tropical diseases for the past month. In fact, our soon-to-be-published Global Research Report: Neglected Tropical Diseases, addresses many of Dr. Emanuel’s points head-on.
Our study tracks the current status of research on neglected tropical diseases, analyzing research output worldwide from 1992 to 2011. In it, we make some very interesting findings about the pace of research output focused on neglected tropical diseases relative to other “first world” diseases, such as cancer, HIV/AIDS and coronary artery disease.
The full report, which contains a detailed bibliographic analysis of neglected tropical disease research, will be released tomorrow. Stay tuned for more!