Via Nature News & Comment: Ebola funding surge hides falling investment in other neglected diseases. Excerpt:
Global funding for research on neglected diseases — which include tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and malaria — is at its lowest level since 2007, according to the annual G-FINDER investment report by Policy Cures, a health-policy analysis firm in Sydney, Australia.
But that total — just over US$3 billion for 2015, the latest year for which figures are available — does not include a rapid burst of funding for research into Ebola, to tackle West Africa’s outbreak. Investments in Ebola and other African viral haemorrhagic fevers shot up to $631 million in 2015 — more than was spent on any other neglected disease except HIV/AIDS.
Almost two-thirds of that was spent on developing preventive vaccines, and more than one-third of funding came from industry. That is an unusually high proportion, notes Nick Chapman, director of research at Policy Cures.
The firm decided to count the Ebola investments separately from the bulk of neglected-disease funding, because of their distorting effect on the underlying figures. “At the same time that we’re seeing this huge explosion in Ebola funding, governments are letting funding slide for neglected diseases,” Chapman says.
Public funding falls
The G-FINDER analysis, or Global Funding of Innovation for Neglected Diseases, tracks public, private and philanthropic investment into illnesses that disproportionately affect people in developing countries, and which don't have enough of a commercial market to attract much private research and development (R&D).
The steady drop in cash for diseases other than Ebola, the report finds, is caused almost entirely by a fall in public funds from high-income countries such as the United States.