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United Nations High-Level Meeting on TB Offers Chance to End Global Threat

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The United Nations General Assembly’s first high-level meeting on tuberculosis this week opens the opportunity for international collaboration and commitment toward ending the impacts of the world’s leading infectious disease killer. Today UN member states will sign onto a political declaration that reaffirms global commitments to end by 2030 the epidemic that takes 1.4 million lives and infects 10 million people every year. The agreements reached by country leaders to mobilize the support and policies needed to find and treat 40 million people infected with TB by 2022, and to prevent infection in 30 million people by 2022 will be just the first step toward that goal. Leaders of the Infectious Diseases Society of America have joined global health advocates from around the world at the meeting and will continue to promote and support the critical steps ahead to end tuberculosis as a global public health threat.

Commitments in the declaration to promote access to affordable medicines, including generic drugs, as well as a reaffirmation of national initiatives to interpret and implement intellectual property rights in a way that protects public health and promotes access to medicines for all will be critical components of the efforts that follow and were strongly supported by IDSA with other national and international organizations. IDSA also has supported the inclusion of drug development incentive models in the declaration to separate the cost of investment in research and development from the price and volume of sales and promote research toward new antibiotic medicines that will be necessary to facilitate antibiotic development.

IDSA also has advocated for a commitment in the declaration increasing funding for TB responses, including a target on mobilizing $13 billion a year by 2022 for universal access to quality prevention, diagnosis and treatment and care, from all sources, as well as target to increase global investments on TB research and development to $2 billion a year, and close the estimated $1.3 billion gap for R&D that exists now.

IDSA has supported and will continue to promote efforts toward strong actionable targets on detection, prevention, treatment, and funding for responses and research. We will continue to advocate for the development of an accountability mechanism to enable countries to report on progress in achieving the targets in the declaration.

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