[Ip-health] WHA70 - Side Event on Addressing Access Barriers and Affordability Challenges for Cancer Drugs - 24 May 2017

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Sun May 21 05:11:59 PDT 2017


http://keionline.org/node/2782

On Wednesday, 24 May 2017, Knowledge Ecology International (KEI), Oxfam and
Stichting Health Action International (HAI) are convening a side event on
addressing access barriers and affordability challenges for cancer
medicines. This panel will take place in Salle IX of the United Nations
Palais des Nations from 18:00 to 19:30.

Date: Wednesday, 24 May 2017
Time: 18:00 to 19:30
Location: Salle IX, United Nations Palais des Nations

Panelists:

Guilherme de Aguiar Patriota, Ambassador. Deputy Permanent Representative
to the United Nations Office at Geneva

Manon Ress, Founder and Acting Director. Union for Affordable Cancer
Treatment (UACT)

Catherine Tomlinson, Cancer Alliance

Ellen 't Hoen, Medicines Law & Policy/Global Health Unit - University
Medical Center Groningen

James Love, Director, Knowledge Ecology International

World Health Organization (Representative to be confirmed).

This panel will be moderated by Tido von Schoen-Angerer, MD, MPH (Centre
Médical de La Chapelle, Geneva, Switzerland/Dept of Pediatrics, Fribourg
Hospital, Switzerland).

This event will focus on policy options to address the access barriers and
affordability challenges for cancer medicines, in conjunction with the
Assembly’s consideration of agenda item 15.6 - Cancer prevention and
control in the context of an integrated approach.

In 2012, cancer was the 2nd leading cause of death in the world (8.2
million); cancer cases are projected to increase from 14.1 million in 2012
to 21.6 million in 2030. Panelists will address 1) lawful pathways to
ensure cancer treatments are affordable and widely available and 2)
alternative models of innovation as envisioned by the WHO’s Global Strategy
and Plan of Action on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property.

The primary incentive to invest in R&D for new cancer medicines is the
grant of a monopoly that allows pharmaceutical developers to charge high
prices for many years. These high prices have resulted in unjust outcomes
including rationing, unnecessary pain and death.

New medicines are expensive due to policies, not physics, chemistry or
biology. A policy to grant an IPR monopoly, through patents, data
exclusivity or other IPR mechanisms, is designed solely to induce
investments in R&D. Countries can regulate or eliminate monopolies, and
some do. As countries wrestle with affordability issues, they can seek
technical assistance from the WHO or other entities in order to use lawful
pathways to ensure treatments are affordable and widely available —
including through the granting of compulsory licences.

Some governments and experts have proposed the creation of very large
innovation funds that would allow countries to take measures to lower drug
prices without having an adverse impact on R&D. These include proposals
made to the WHO by developing countries during the CEWG process, but also
in hearings in the European Parliament, the US Congress and in submissions
to the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines.

Panelists at the side event will examine the challenges and opportunities
of such a fund, including by examining the magnitude of the investments
needed to ensure appropriate levels of investment for the development of
new products, and the mechanics of the push and pull mechanism, including
robust innovation inducement prize rewards, for successful drug
development, as well as research grants.

In addition, panelists will comment on the cancer resolution expected for
adoption at WHA70 which mandates the WHO to:

to prepare a comprehensive technical report to the 144th Executive Board
that examines pricing approaches, including transparency, and their impact
on availability and affordability of medicines for the prevention and
treatment of cancer, including any evidence of the benefits or unintended
negative consequences, as well as incentives for cancer R&D investment and
innovation of these measures, as well as the relationship between inputs
throughout the value chain and price setting, financing gaps for cancer
R&D, and options that might enhance the affordability and accessibility of
these medicines



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