[Ip-health] HAI/KEI intervention on CEWG process at WHA68

Tessel Mellema Tessel at haiweb.org
Fri May 22 07:24:45 PDT 2015

World Health Assembly 68 May 2015

Agenda Item: 17.4 Follow-up of the report of the CEWG

Intervention on behalf of Stichting Health Action International and Knowledge Ecology International

The world was recently shaken by Ebola. No vaccines or treatments were available and health workers were left empty handed. At the same time, Member States are struggling to deal with the lack of new antibiotics to deal with ever increasing incidences of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). New initiatives exploring mechanisms to incentivize the development of new antibiotics and Ebola treatments are emerging, but efforts remain ad hoc and scattered, while the list of diseases that are neglected by the market driven R&D model continues to grow. New but costly essential medicines have recently been included in the WHO EML. Several are widely patented and priced at a level that will break the bank even of wealthy countries' health systems. Now more than ever, do we need to rethink the global R&D model and explore new models that encourage innovation while ensuring access.

Only a holistic solution can effectively deal with the failures in global health R&D. It would be a waste of efforts and resources to deal with this in silos. Therefore, the proposed pooled funding mechanism should cover all diseases where there is a market failure in attracting sustainable R&D funding.

The pooled fund and the projects it will support should also be governed by a framework of core principles and norms as recommended by the CEWG. Norms that ensure needs-driven R&D and affordable access to medical products from the start of the innovation process through applying the principle of de-linkage. Without this, the pooled fund will be reduced to a weak mechanism that puts money into an existing system that is broken.

The 2016 open-ended Member State meeting offers a unique opportunity to put all initiatives together: Improving coordination through an observatory, securing sustainable financing mechanisms through a pooled fund and creating new incentives for R&D while managing outputs in a way that ensures both innovation and access. These functions are deeply interrelated and require a framework to support their integration.

We therefore urge this WHA to focus the 2016 meeting on the need to implement the CEWG recommendation to start negotiations on a global biomedical R&D framework covering all type I, II and III diseases where there is a market failure in attracting R&D funding.

Tessel Mellema
Policy Advisor

Health Action International (HAI) Europe
Overtoom 60 (2)
1054 HK Amsterdam
The Netherlands
T: +31 (0) 20 683 3684
M: +31 (0) 6 24686771
E: tessel at haieurope.org


Health Action International (HAI) Europe is an independent network working to increase access to essential medicines and improve their rational use through research excellence and evidence-based advocacy.

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