Excellency, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Members States of the United Nations (UN):

We, the below signatory organizations and individuals request that UN leadership, the Inter-Agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators (IAEG-SDGs), and UN Member States fully support the prioritization and inclusion of indicators to measure progress in global health research and development (R&D) in the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) monitoring framework. Such indicators will be vital to mobilizing resources and political commitment to develop and deliver the next generation of lifesaving technologies necessary to achieve the agreed-upon health targets and meet our collective global goals by 2030.

Thanks to the leadership of the UN and its Member States, the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) have driven significant progress in improving health worldwide and helped catalyze the development and delivery of health tools that have reduced the burden of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB), malaria, and other health challenges. As we transition from the MDG-era to the SDG-era, we recognize that though much progress has been achieved, many challenges remain, and the health burden imposed by poverty and social exclusion remains too high and stands as a significant barrier to achieving economic prosperity as envisioned in the SDGs. In that context, it is essential that the post-2015 development agenda include a strong focus on eliminating poverty-related diseases and conditions by mobilizing resources to ensure universal access to health interventions and to advance the development and delivery of new health technologies needed to sustainably reduce morbidity and mortality over the long term.

Existing disease-specific global strategies aimed at tackling leading killers like HIV/AIDS, TB, malaria, and neglected tropical diseases clearly acknowledge that the SDG disease-specific targets are unlikely to be achieved without the development of new and improved drugs, vaccines, diagnostics, and other health technologies. If the SDGs are to be successful, it is vital that they acknowledge the importance of—and measure progress toward—R&D for global health. But current SDG discussions have largely overlooked the importance of R&D in reaching the health targets.

We are encouraged by the ambitious breadth of the current list of proposed goals, targets, and corresponding indicators. However, of the 169 proposed targets, only one—target 3.b—is specifically aimed at advancing global health R&D. This target fails to address the full spectrum of health technologies and conflates the need for R&D with the need for access to new technologies. Furthermore, none of the UN SDG indicator proposals include any indicators that can adequately measure progress on global health R&D. Effective indicators will be vital to mobilizing the resources and political commitment needed to deliver the next generation of health technologies necessary to achieve the SDGs.

In this context, we urge UN Member States, UN leadership, and the IAEG-SDGs to include the following three global indicators in the monitoring framework, the first two of which can be monitored by specialized agencies through existing mechanisms at the global level and the last of which can be monitored by national statistical offices at the national level:

• Public, private, and not-for-profit investment in R&D for the health needs that disproportionately affect people living in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs)
• Number of new registered health technologies targeting the health needs that disproportionately affect people living in LMICs
• R&D expenditure as a percentage of GDP [gross domestic product]

In addition, we urge Member States to adopt the following complementary national indicators if appropriate for your circumstances:

• Number of new health technologies registered by the National Regulatory Authority and/or recommended by national guidelines
• National Regulatory Authorities participating in harmonized registration initiatives based on internationally recognized policies and standards; and sharing regulatory policies, legislation, guidelines, and information on registered products
• Number of formal coordination and collaboration initiatives aimed at increasing and facilitating transfer of health-related technology, including between public and private entities
• Number of registered clinical trials that meet international quality and safety standards
• Number of clinical trial sites that meet international quality and safety standards

As organizations and individuals working to save lives and improve health, we kindly but urgently request your explicit and full support to the addition of indicators to measure progress in global health R&D to the global monitoring framework. We also urge Member States to offer similar support through their representatives to the IAEG-SDGs, in order to formally assess how to measure, finance, and enable the research, development, and delivery of essential new and improved health tools.


ACTION Global Health Advocacy Partnership
AIDS-Fondet (The Danish AIDS Foundation)
American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
American Thoracic Society
Asociacion Gestion Salud Poblacion
Busokelo Environmental & Community Development (BECOD)
Community Health Evangelism Programme
The Council on Health Research for Development
Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative
Ethiopian Public Health Institute
Eurasian Coalition on Male Health
Faculty of Public Health Mahidol University
Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics
Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth, an initiative of Seattle Children's
Global Chagas Disease Coalition
Global Health Council
Global Health Technologies Coalition
Hubert Kairuki Memorial University
Infectious Diseases Society of America Center for Global Health Policy
Innovative Vector Control Consortium
International AIDS Vaccine Initiative
International Health Central American Institute Foundation-Cochrane Central America and Spanish Caribbean Branch
International Partnership for Microbicides (IPM)
International Vector Control Consortium
Medical Research Council of Zimbabwe
Medicines for Malaria Venture
menZDRAV Foundation
National AIDS Research Institute
National Health Mission, Karnataka, India
National Institute for Infectious Diseases Lazzaro Spallanzani
Nava Kiran Plus
Parviflora Research Organisation
Philippine Council for Health Research and Development
Policies for Equitable Access to Health (PEAH)
Policy Cures
Population Council
Program in Public Health, University of California, Irvine, USA
Sabin Vaccine Institute
Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute
TB Alliance
TB Proof
Treasureland Health Builders Initiative
Treatment Action Group
The University of Science and Technology-Tropical Disease Research Center (UST-TDRC)
UPMC Center for Health Security
Washington Global Health Alliance

Rashad Abdul-Ghani, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sana'a University
Faheem Ahmed, Partnership in Global Health
Patricia Alvarenga, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
Adam Aspinall
Milton Rugaaza Babishisha, HELSE BERGEN
Anita Bake, Wageningen University
Jaya Banerji, Medicines for Malaria Venture
Soazig Bertrand, Medicines for Malaria Venture
Benjamin Blasco, Medicines for Malaria Venture
Walter Bundotich, Moi University
Dr. Brice Campo, Medicines for Malaria Venture
Soumitesh Chakravorty, New Jersey Medical School, Rutgers University
Stephan Chalon, Medicines for Malaria Venture
Isra Cruz, Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics
Valérie D'Acremont, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute
Matthew Doherty, Medicines for Malaria Venture
Jonothon Donnelly, Sovereign Strategy
Professor Sir Pete Downes, University of Dundee
Sabiha Essack, University of KwaZulu-Natal
Getnet Hailu, Ethiopian Public Health Institute
Mohamed Hassan Osman El Mahi, National Health Insurance Fund
Alan Fairlamb, University of Dundee
Ingrid Felger, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute
Dzmitry Filippau, menZDRAV Foundation
Elyssa Gaffin
Dr. Raman Gangakhedkar, National AIDS Research Institute
Fabio Giannessi, Sigma tau
Danny Gill, Ministry of Health, Barbados
Iveth J. González, FIND Switzerland
Mark Grabowsky
Mahabir Gupta, Center for Pharmacognostic Research on Panamanian Flora
Ghaiath Hussein, University of Birmingham
Dr. Theresa J. Kaijage, Hubert Kairuki Memorial University
Dastan Kasmamytov, Eurasian Coalition on Male Health
Elizabeth Kernen, Medicines for Malaria Venture
Fratern Kilasara, Hubert Kairuki Memorial University
Soewarta Kosen, National Institute of Health R & D, Indonesia
Karen Kramer, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute
Pete Lambert, Monash University
Christian Lengeler, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute
Piedra Lightfoot, Foundation for Innovative Diagnostics
Yodi Mahendradhata, Center for Health Policy and Management, Faculty of Medicine, Gadjah Mada University
Ada Maldonado, Asociacion Gestion Salud Poblacion
Stefanie Meredith, Global Health Consulting
Pranava Mishra, MGIMS
Didier Jusvi Mabika Ngassaki, Association Congolaise pour le Bien Être Familial
Abdisalan Noor, KEMRI/Wellcome Trust Research Programme, Visiting Professor at the University of Oxford
Oladele A. Ogunseitan, PhD, MPH, Program in Public Health, University of California, Irvine, USA
Gloria I. Palma, Department of Microbiology, Universidad del Valle
Carolynn Poulsen, International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS
Biniakounou Wini Benovy Princilia, Association Congolaise pour le Bien Être Familial
Ana Rabello, Fiocruz - Oswaldo Cruz Foundation
David Reddy, Medicines for Malaria Venture
Leanne Robinson, PNG Institute of Medical Research; Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
Claudio Rodrigues, Fiocruz/CDTS
Samuel C. Sam-Emuwa, Treasureland Health Builders Initiative
Professor Osman Sankoh, INDEPTH Network
Allan Schapira
Rima Shretta, Global Health Group, Universoty of California, San Francisco
S. Soemantri, FMS
Dr. Divya Srivastava, Indian Council of Medical Research
Tareq Sunderji, Medicines for Malaria Venture
Yumika Takada, Janssen
Fabrizio Tediosi, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute
Dr. Jurrien Toonen, KIT, Royal Tropical Institute Amsterdam
Solomon Van Kanei, Community Health Evangelism Programme
Chamika Ward, CSME Researcher
Maxine Whittaker, University of Queensland School of Public Health
Judith Whitworth, Emeritus Professor Australian National University
Diana Wong, NSW Health
Eiichi Yamaguchi

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