The Global Health Technology Act amends the Health Technologies Program of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 under which the US Agency for International Development supports the development of technologies for global health and other purposes. The bill entered the house committee on Foreign Affairs on April 11, 2013 and was introduced by Congressmen Diaz-Balart of Florida.
The bill describes the importance of research and development in global health and explains how research and development on global health technology help break the cycle of dependency by creating sustainable solutions to long-term problems. The bill describes the progress and advances investments in global health have created. It details that funding global health technology today will save the United States a great deal of money in the long run, as well as how overall, the bill and global health technology can greatly benefit the US in terms of an inflated economy and increased national security.
The purpose of the act is to acknowledge USAID’s role in product development, introduction and up-scale of new global health tools and to authorize USAID’s Health Technologies program to improve global health, reduce maternal, newborn and child mortality rates, lower the incidence of HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases, overcome technical, supply and policy hurdles to product introduction and scale-up, and to support research and development.
The creators of the bill would like to see the introduction of a new Health Technologies Program, which would function as a part of USAID. The program would be aimed at developing, advancing and introducing affordable, available, and appropriate late-stage technologies to the problems listed in the previous paragraph. Additionally, the bill codifies an agreement with USAID for support of the development of technologies for global health.
The act calls for Action Plans to incorporate global health research and development programs with support from coordinating agencies that establish metrics to measure progress. It also calls for Priority Global Health Interventions in order to accelerate the innovation and impact of USAID. The Global Health and Technology Act charges USAID to submit an annual report summarizing yearly research and development activities as well as submit to annual consultation with heads of other Federal agencies to improve alignment of USAID’s health-related research strategy with similar agencies.
Photo: Global Health Technologies Coalition