Poverty-related and neglected diseases (PRNDs) carry a high burden of morbidity and mortality in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Yet, there remains a large unmet need for effective, affordable and safe approaches to combat these diseases. Much of the underpinning research in this field has been carried out by the public sector, with funding provided by philanthropic organisations, bilateral and multilateral donors.
Although the United States remain the largest funder for R&D into product development for PRNDs (such as new diagnostics, vaccines, drugs and devices), the European Union and its member states also play a pivotal role. At the request of the European Parliament, the European Commission Research and Innovation Directorate has commissioned a study to evaluate the role and impact of the EU Research Framework Programme (1998–2013) activities into PRNDs.
In March 2016, a team of researchers led by Technopolis Group and RAND Europe was contracted to conduct the study. The team gathered evidence and analysed data on relevant EU-funded projects to explore the scale and scope of research activities underpinning outcomes and impacts across different stages of the health innovation pathway. The overarching aim of this work was to understand the role of R&D into PRNDs in contributing to increased knowledge, improving population health and achieving universal health coverage in LIMCs. Based on the extensive research findings, the evaluation made recommendations addressed to the European Commission, research funders and wider stakeholders in the global health community.
The executive summary and the full report are available here.