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Global Health Technology Act Would Encourage New Health Product Development

Noting a worldwide resurgence of tuberculosis (TB) and the development of drug-resistant diseases, Reps. Albio Sires (D-N.J.) and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) write in The Hill’s “Congress Blog,” “New vaccines, drugs, tests, and other health tools are desperately needed to combat the spread of disease both in the United States and abroad. But progress cannot be made without a sustained investment in research.” They continue, “That’s why we have come together to introduce the 21st Century Global Health Technology Act (HR 1515),” which “would encourage the development of health products that are affordable, culturally appropriate, and easy to use in low-resource health systems” and “would require no new funding.”

In addition, “[t]he bill also supports a comprehensive, smart and deficit-neutral approach to research for new global health technologies at [USAID], which has played a critical role for decades in supporting global health research and development (R&D),” they write, adding, “This bill would strengthen and support the agency’s product development activities, while also expanding its capabilities in health research to new areas, such as TB vaccines, which the agency currently does not support.” Sires and Diaz-Balart conclude, “By supporting this bill, Congress can help make an immeasurable difference in the lives of women and children …, while also safeguarding the health of American citizens and supporting our economy” (9/26).