[Ip-health] UACT Blog: WHA passes cancer resolution

Manon Ress manon.ress at cancerunion.org
Wed May 31 07:04:14 PDT 2017


On May 31, 2017, World Health Assembly adopted a new resolution on the
prevention and control of cancer.   UACT earlier wrote about the
negotiations on the resolution here and here.  IP-Watch published a story
about the resolution here.

The following are statements from three members of UACT:

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

UACT was among 29 civil society organizations and 33 health professionals,
activists, and economists — including Nobel Prize laureate Joseph Stiglitz
— asking delegates to WHA to support a feasibility study on the progressive
delinkage of the costs of research and development from the price of cancer
medicines. UACT is, of course, disappointed by the weakening of the earlier
versions of the text, that called for transparency of prices and R&D costs,
access gaps, and a feasibility study of delinkage. However, while a
feasibility study is no longer mentioned in the resolution, any examination
of pricing approaches to improve access and affordability will lead to the
recognition that it will only be achievable if we look at new ways to fund

Ellen ‘t Hoen, member of the UACT Expert Advisory Board

The comprehensive resolution to radically step up actions to prevent,
detect and treat cancer, adopted this week by the World Health Assembly is
ambitious and much needed. The implementation of the plan will require
courageous steps by political and global health leaders to ensure cancer
prevention, treatment and care are affordable and available to all in
need.  This resolution in particular will strengthen WHO’s work on
medicines pricing. It gives WHO Director General Dr Tedros the mandate to
take courageous action on access to medicines at a time that all countries
struggle to pay for medicines. The resolution is clear that this action
should include the development of new incentive models such as “delinkage”
models for the financing of the research and development of new essential
medicines. Such new incentive mechanisms are also recommended by the UN
High Level Panel on Access to Medicines and the Lancet Commission on
Essential Medicines.

Ophira Ginsburg, MD, member of the UACT Expert Advisory Board

The new cancer resolution just passed at the World Health Assembly is a
great step forward in the global effort to prevent, treat, and cure cancer.
It provides a “road map” for all of us, member states, civil society,
academics, cancer researchers and patient advocates, to work together to
reduce cancer care inequities across the world and within countries. WHO’s
Member States are urged to develop and implement national cancer control
plans “with a focus on equity and access”. Specific recommendations
include: reducing exposures to major cancer risk factors such as tobacco
and alcohol, increasing population coverage for hepatitis B and human
papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines, and improving equitable access to early
diagnosis with effective and affordable treatment, including palliative
care. It is a big ‘ask’ particularly where resources are profoundly
constrained, both financially and in terms of the cancer care workforce.
But much can and should be done. WHO and its sister UN agencies are
committing to providing ongoing global leadership to help countries reach
this goal.

UACT <https://twitter.com/Cancer_Union>@Cancer_Union
+1 571 331 6879

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