To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what plans her Department has to develop guidelines on how to ensure a public return on public investment on biomedical Research & Development investments in advance of the merger of her Department with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
DFID routes ODA funding for research into the development of drugs, vaccines and other medical tools, through Product Development Partnerships and other not-for-profit organisations. Product Development Partnerships are not for profit organisations that are jointly created and funded by international institutions, national governments, private foundations and industry. These act as platforms to bring together the best scientific expertise alongside resources, to prevent and address diseases that affect low and middle-income countries. Whereas industrial Research and Development is mostly driven by profit - Product Development Partnerships are primarily driven by patient needs and de-link the cost of a new product from the cost of its development. These third-party organisations have the expertise to ensure that, once developed, products are affordable and accessible to provide low and middle-income countries with the tools they need to tackle diseases in their country, maximising the public return on our health Research and Development investments. No additional guidelines are considered necessary.
Merging the Departments will bring together the best of what we do in aid and diplomacy and ensure that all of our national efforts including our aid budget and expertise are used to make the UK a force for good in the world. The work of UK Aid to reduce poverty will remain central to the new department’s mission.