(GHIF, the Fund) is a new social impact investment fund designed to provide financing to advance the development of drugs, vaccines, diagnostics and other interventions against diseases that disproportionately burden low- income countries. The Fund provides a novel opportunity to help bring about significant improvements in the treatment and prevention of disease, and in family planning, and the reduction of maternal and child mortality, along with the prospect of a net financial return for investors.
This is achieved via milestone payments and royalties which will primarily be achieved from sales of the new products in developed markets, complementing global access agreements to bring the new products to the developing markets where they are critically required.
Since the launch of the Millennium Development Goals, funding for health has increased and millions of lives have been saved. Low income countries, particularly in Africa, have also increased health budgets on the back of economic growth. Deaths and infections from Malaria are falling and progress is being made in combating HIV/AIDS and TB. Vaccines are reaching more children than ever before.
Advances in medical science over the last half century have achieved real reductions in child and maternal mortality, but mothers and children continue to die from conditions that could be treatable. World Health Organisation figures show that nearly 15 million people die each year from infectious diseases and nutritional deficiencies. According to the last estimate, in 2011, 6.9 million children die before reaching their fifth birthday. The most common causes of child and infant mortality include pneumonia, diarrhea, birth complications and malaria. Diseases such as meningitis and measles also still take hundreds of thousands of children’s lives each year and are contagious globally.
Solving problems of such magnitude requires new and affordable medicines. The opportunity is not merely to protect the gains that have already been achieved in improving health and reducing mortality, but to make far greater gains. Additional funds are needed to bring the pipeline of interventions currently under development to those in need. These have the potential to save millions of lives each year, reduce pressure on health systems and sustain the global health improvements in the future.