US investments in medical research and innovation lead to discoveries and technologies that save millions of lives and improve health in the United States and around the world. New vaccines, drugs, diagnostics, devices, and other health tools have helped to reduce the toll of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, neglected tropical diseases, and other global health challenges. Since 1990, the mortality rate for children younger than five years has fallen by half, maternal deaths have declined by 45 percent, and deaths from infectious diseases have dropped by about 25 percent around the world.
Despite these remarkable achievements, there is still much work to be done. Infectious diseases and other health challenges kill millions each year, and safe and effective tools are not yet available to prevent, diagnose, or treat many neglected diseases. Problems such as the worst Ebola outbreak in history and growing resistance to antibiotics and antimicrobials have starkly revealed the challenges of drug development for neglected diseases and underscored the threat of infectious diseases and other persistent health challenges in an increasingly interconnected world.
New global health tools are urgently needed to address existing and emerging health challenges. Progress will not be achieved without robust US investment and leadership in research and development (R&D) and a policy environment that fosters innovation