[Ip-health] Six NGOs present recommendations for Moscow WHO forum on non-communicable diseases

Krista Cox krista.cox at keionline.org
Fri Apr 22 10:53:36 PDT 2011


http://keionline.org/node/1118

Six NGOs present recommendations for Moscow WHO forum on non-communicable
diseases
By KEI Staff
22 Apr 2011

Six NGOs, including Knowledge Ecology International (KEI), Medecins Sans
Frontieres (MSF), Oxfam, Third World Network (TWN), Universities Allied for
Essential Medicines (UAEM), and Young Professionals Chronic Disease Network
(YP-CDN), recently submitted recommendations to Member States to control
non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in low- and middle-income countries in
advance of the Moscow Ministerial conference.

Ensuring a supply of affordable, appropriate and good quality medicines,
vaccines and diagnostics to persons suffering from NCDs in low- and
middle-income countries is critical in addressing treatment. The current
lack of supply results from numerous factors including the demands of
high-income countries to include data exclusivity provisions in free trade
agreements even for off-patent medicines and the insufficient research and
development to adapt NCD health technologies to low resource settings.

A PDF of the joint statement with logos of the groups is available here:
http://keionline.org/sites/default/files/ncd-6healthngos-moscow.pdf

The text of the joint statement follows:

Ensuring a steady supply of affordable, appropriate and good quality
medicines, vaccines and diagnostics via the public and private sectors to
people in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) is a critical component of
the international response to Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs). The Moscow
Ministerial conference provides a valuable opportunity to highlight issues
of access to medicines and health-related technologies, which is a critical
but under-discussed issue in the lead-up to the United Nations High-Level
Meeting on NCDs.

The World Health Organisation/Health Action International Project on
Medicine Prices and Availability has documented the limited availability and
affordability of NCD medications in both the private and public sectors.1,
Even for medicines that are off-patent, generic production is increasingly
threatened due to demands by high income countries to include data
exclusivity in free trade agreements2. Of great concern is the insufficient
research and development being carried out to adapt NCD health technologies
to low resource settings. Drawing on the lessons from the struggle to
increase the availability of medicines for infectious diseases such as
HIV/AIDS, our coalition of civil society leaders with historical and
contemporary leadership in the access to medicines movement call on WHO
Member States to adopt the following recommendations in the context of NCDs:

1. Safeguard generic production: Member states should ensure equitable and
affordable access to essential health technologies for NCDs and support
generic production as the most effective method to lower prices. Member
States should make use of flexibilities enshrined in the Agreement on Trade
Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and affirmed by the
Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health to ensure generic production and
refrain from promoting or adopting TRIPS-plus measures such as data
exclusivity that could limit the affordability even for off-patent
medicines. Furthermore, Member states must ensure that all medicines are
affordable and available to all. In this regard, and in addition to all
other steps taken to make medicines affordable, governments that fund
medical R&D should ensure that health-related technologies developed through
publicly subsidized research are affordable and available from competitive
generic suppliers in LMICs in accordance with the Global Strategy and Plan
of Action on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property.

2. Incentivize research and innovation: Member states should explore and
promote a range of incentive schemes for the research and development of
medicines for non-communicable diseases as promoted by the WHO Global
Strategy and Plan of Action on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual
Property. In particular, member states should: adopt strategies which (i)
de-linke the costs of medicines and health related technologies from the
cost of research and development, (ii) apply the concept of prizes as one
form of incentive mechanism for innovation in cancer treatments and (iii)
provide funding for the feasibility studies for cancer prize funds in
developed and developing countries.

3. Support quality assurance: Member states should ensure that all health
technologies including those addressing NCDs are quality assured. In
addition to strengthening national medicine regulatory agencies, exporting
countries must ensure that medicinal products produced in and exported from
their territory meet WHO quality standards. Procurement agencies,
distributors and purchasers, as the main actors purchasing medicines on
behalf of developing countries, should be certified by a centralised neutral
body, potentially hosted by WHO on the basis of existing WHO standards. All
donors should set a clear quality assurance policy in accordance with the
WHO.

1
http://www.who.int/medicines/areas/access/Medicine_Prices_and_Availability/en/index.html
2 Kesselheim AS, Solomon DH. Incentives for drug development--the curious
case of colchicine. N Engl J Med. 2010; 362(22): 2045-7.


The Moscow Ministerial will take place on 28-29 April 2011 and the UN High
Level Meeting of the General Assembly on the prevention and control of NCDs
will occur on 19-20 September 2011. Sandeep (Sunny) Kishore from UAEM will
be in Moscow to present these recommendations.

-- 
Krista Cox
Staff Attorney
Knowledge Ecology International
www.keionline.org
(202) 332-2670



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