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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 30  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 309-316

Mapping of health research funding in India

1 Public Health Foundation of India, New Delhi, India and Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
2 Public Health Foundation of India, New Delhi, India
3 Indian Council of Medical Research, Department of Health Research, Government of India, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Lalit Dandona
Public Health Foundation of India, Plot 47, Sector 44, Institutional Area, Gurugram 122002, Haryana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-258X.239069

Background. We aimed to estimate the total annual funding available for health research in India. We also examined the trends of funding for health research since 2001 by major national and international agencies. Methods. We did a retrospective survey of 1150 health research institutions in India to estimate the quantum of funding over 5 years. We explored the Prowess database for industry spending on health research and development and gathered data from key funding agencies. All amounts were converted to 2015 constant US$. Results. The total health research funding available in India in 2011–12 was US$ 1.42 billion, 0.09% of the gross domestic product (GDP) including only 0.02% from public sources. The average annual increase of funding over the previous 5 years (2007–08 to 2011–12) was 8.8%. 95% of this funding was from Indian sources, including 79% by the Indian pharmaceutical industry. Of the total funding, only 3.2% was available for public health research. From 2006–10 to 2011–15 the funding for health research in India by the three major international agencies cumulatively decreased by 40.8%. The non-industry funding for non-communicable diseases doubled from 2007–08 to 2011–12, but the funding for some of the leading causes of disease burden, including neonatal disorders, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, mental health, musculoskeletal disorders and injuries was substantially lower than their contribution to the disease burden. Conclusion. The total funding available for health research in India is lower than previous estimates, and only a miniscule proportion is available for public health research. The non industry funding for health research in India, which is predominantly from public resources, is extremely small, and had considerable mismatches with the major causes of disease burden. The magnitude of public funding for health research and its appropriate allocation should be addressed at the highest policy level.

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