Global funding for tuberculosis research and development (TB R&D) has reached an all-time high, but funding goals for efforts to eliminate the disease remain far out of reach, according to two reports released today.

In an analysis of TB research funding trends from 2005 through 2018, the Treatment Action Group (TAG) found that global funding for TB R&D totaled $916 million US for fiscal year 2018, an increase of $134 million US from 2017. But the Stop TB Partnership’s (STBP’s) updated Global Plan to End TB calls for $2.6 billion US per year for R&D of new diagnostics, new drugs, and a new vaccine. That’s in addition to $13 billion US a year needed for TB prevention and care, the group says.

The STBP’s plan is aligned with commitments made at the United Nations High-Level Meeting on TB in September 2018, where world leaders agreed to pick up the pace of funding for TB prevention, care, and R&D by 2022.

The STBP, which announced the plan in Indonesia, one of the top three highest TB burden countries in the world, said reaching these funding goals would help provide care for 40 million people with the disease (including 3.5 million children and 1.5 million people with drug-resistant TB), enable 30 million to get preventive treatment, and put new diagnostic and treatment tools on the horizon by 2030. But a delay in reaching those goals could result in 2 million more people dying and an additional 13.5 million developing TB.

“The coming three years—up to 2022—will be very important for the TB community at large,” Brazilian health minister and STBP board chair Luis Henrique Mandetta said in an STBP press release. “This is when we make it or [break] it.”

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More getting treated, but funding lags

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