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Mapping pneumonia research: a systematic analysis of UK investments and published outputs 1997–2013

Mapping pneumonia research: a systematic analysis of UK investments and published outputs 1997–2013
Mapping pneumonia research: a systematic analysis of UK investments and published outputs 1997–2013
Background

The burden of pneumonia continues to be substantial, particularly among the poorest in global society. We describe here the trends for UK pneumonia R&D investment and published outputs, and correlate with 2013 global mortality.

Methods

Data related to awards to UK institutions for pneumonia research from 1997 to 2013 were systematically sourced and categorised by disease area and type of science. Investment was compared to mortality figures in 2010 and 2013 for pneumonia, tuberculosis and influenza. Investment was also compared to publication data.

Results

Of all infectious disease research between 2011 and 2013 (£917.0 million), £28.8 million (3.1%) was for pneumonia. This was an absolute and proportionate increase from previous time periods. Translational pneumonia research (33.3%) received increased funding compared with 1997–2010 where funding was almost entirely preclinical (87.5%, here 30.9%), but high-burden areas such as paediatrics, elderly care and antimicrobial resistance received little investment. Annual investment remains volatile; publication temporal trends show a consistent increase. When comparing investment to global burden with a novel ‘investment by mortality observed’ metric, tuberculosis (£48.36) and influenza (£484.21) receive relatively more funding than pneumonia (£43.08), despite investment for pneumonia greatly increasing in 2013 compared to 2010 (£7.39). Limitations include a lack of private sector data and the need for careful interpretation of the comparisons with burden, plus categorisation is subjective.

Conclusions

There has been a welcome increase for pneumonia funding awarded to UK institutions in 2011–2013 compared with 1997–2010, along with increases for more translational research. Published outputs relating to pneumonia rose steadily from 1997 to 2013. Investment relative to mortality for pneumonia has increased, but it remains low compared to other respiratory infections and clear inequities remain. Analyses that measure investments in pneumonia can provide an insight into funding trends and research gaps.

Research in context

Pneumonia continues to be a high-burden illness around the globe. This paper shows that although research funding is increasing in the UK (between 1997 and 2013), it remains poorly funded compared to other important respiratory infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and influenza. Publications about pneumonia have been steadily increasing over time, indicating continuing academic and clinical interest in the topic. Though global mortality of pneumonia is declining, it should still be an area of high priority for funders, policymakers and researchers.
pneumonia, pneumococcal, investments, financing, policy, bibliometrics, publications
1193-1199
Head, Michael
67ce0afc-2fc3-47f4-acf2-8794d27ce69c
Fitchett, Joseph R.
1eae456d-373c-428b-a276-353f0a75822e
Newell, Marie-Louise
c6ff99dd-c23b-4fef-a846-a221fe2522b3
Scott, J. Anthony G.
280ad6fa-5af2-4e9a-987a-a457871a85cd
Harris, Jennifer N.
f1344ff8-07a0-45ea-80f6-1dfcf9fe8e99
Clarke, Stuart C.
f7d7f7a2-4b1f-4b36-883a-0f967e73fb17
Atun, Rifat
20f14d3b-facf-4079-8566-eb6d13521a34
Head, Michael
67ce0afc-2fc3-47f4-acf2-8794d27ce69c
Fitchett, Joseph R.
1eae456d-373c-428b-a276-353f0a75822e
Newell, Marie-Louise
c6ff99dd-c23b-4fef-a846-a221fe2522b3
Scott, J. Anthony G.
280ad6fa-5af2-4e9a-987a-a457871a85cd
Harris, Jennifer N.
f1344ff8-07a0-45ea-80f6-1dfcf9fe8e99
Clarke, Stuart C.
f7d7f7a2-4b1f-4b36-883a-0f967e73fb17
Atun, Rifat
20f14d3b-facf-4079-8566-eb6d13521a34

Head, Michael, Fitchett, Joseph R., Newell, Marie-Louise, Scott, J. Anthony G., Harris, Jennifer N., Clarke, Stuart C. and Atun, Rifat (2015) Mapping pneumonia research: a systematic analysis of UK investments and published outputs 1997–2013. EBioMedicine, 2 (9), 1193-1199. (doi:10.1016/j.ebiom.2015.06.024). (PMID:26501117)

Record type: Article

Abstract

Background

The burden of pneumonia continues to be substantial, particularly among the poorest in global society. We describe here the trends for UK pneumonia R&D investment and published outputs, and correlate with 2013 global mortality.

Methods

Data related to awards to UK institutions for pneumonia research from 1997 to 2013 were systematically sourced and categorised by disease area and type of science. Investment was compared to mortality figures in 2010 and 2013 for pneumonia, tuberculosis and influenza. Investment was also compared to publication data.

Results

Of all infectious disease research between 2011 and 2013 (£917.0 million), £28.8 million (3.1%) was for pneumonia. This was an absolute and proportionate increase from previous time periods. Translational pneumonia research (33.3%) received increased funding compared with 1997–2010 where funding was almost entirely preclinical (87.5%, here 30.9%), but high-burden areas such as paediatrics, elderly care and antimicrobial resistance received little investment. Annual investment remains volatile; publication temporal trends show a consistent increase. When comparing investment to global burden with a novel ‘investment by mortality observed’ metric, tuberculosis (£48.36) and influenza (£484.21) receive relatively more funding than pneumonia (£43.08), despite investment for pneumonia greatly increasing in 2013 compared to 2010 (£7.39). Limitations include a lack of private sector data and the need for careful interpretation of the comparisons with burden, plus categorisation is subjective.

Conclusions

There has been a welcome increase for pneumonia funding awarded to UK institutions in 2011–2013 compared with 1997–2010, along with increases for more translational research. Published outputs relating to pneumonia rose steadily from 1997 to 2013. Investment relative to mortality for pneumonia has increased, but it remains low compared to other respiratory infections and clear inequities remain. Analyses that measure investments in pneumonia can provide an insight into funding trends and research gaps.

Research in context

Pneumonia continues to be a high-burden illness around the globe. This paper shows that although research funding is increasing in the UK (between 1997 and 2013), it remains poorly funded compared to other important respiratory infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and influenza. Publications about pneumonia have been steadily increasing over time, indicating continuing academic and clinical interest in the topic. Though global mortality of pneumonia is declining, it should still be an area of high priority for funders, policymakers and researchers.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 26 June 2015
e-pub ahead of print date: 4 July 2015
Published date: September 2015
Keywords: pneumonia, pneumococcal, investments, financing, policy, bibliometrics, publications
Organisations: NIHR Southampton Respiratory Biomedical Research Unit, CES General

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 378950
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/378950
PURE UUID: ff2be83b-affe-4e57-a973-79a2ba98cdf7
ORCID for Michael Head: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1189-0531
ORCID for Marie-Louise Newell: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-1074-7699
ORCID for Stuart C. Clarke: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-7009-1548

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 15 Jul 2015 08:54
Last modified: 18 Feb 2021 17:25

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