[Ip-health] Joint NGO oral contribution at WHO EURO RC67 Strengthening Member State collaboration on improving access to medicines in the WHO European Region (EUR/RC67/11 )

Jaume Vidal Jaume at haiweb.org
Thu Sep 14 00:13:27 PDT 2017

Oral Contribution  Provisional agenda item 5(d) Strengthening Member State collaboration on improving access to medicines in the WHO European Region  EUR/RC67/11 + EUR/RC67/Conf.Doc./9

Mr/Ms Chairperson,
Health Action International (HAI), and endorsing organisations, welcomes the opportunity to address this meeting. We acknowledge the working document,"Strengthening Member State Collaboration on Improving Access to Medicines in the WHO European Region". Efforts to ensure universal access to medicines, including controlled medicines, is an increasingly pressing matter for Member States; therefore, the document is a valuable discussion tool to aid ongoing deliberations at the WHO and elsewhere.

Outputs from a variety of institutions, such as the United Nations Secretary General's High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines, the World Health Organization's fair pricing forum, or the OECD's sustainable access to innovative therapies initiative constitute solid evidence of the growing  support for a needs-driven R&D model, as well as greater transparency in R&D costs, pricing and procurement procedures. Cooperation exercises, such as the Valetta Declaration, or the Beneluxa joint prices negotiations, are further examples of country-led processes that WHO EURO should support.

We positively note the 'values-based'(i) approach endorsed by the document and the strategic areas laid out for Member State collaboration. We recommend, however, the inclusion of intellectual property management tools, particularly TRIPS flexibilities such as voluntary and compulsory licenses, which would enable Member States to improve access to medicines and other health technologies and, as such, be part of the technical cooperation provided by WHO EURO.

Health technology assessment is fundamental for assisting national authorities in determining the added therapeutic value of new pharmaceutical products.  It is crucial that HTA bodies, as well regulatory agencies, base their evaluations on robust evidentiary standards; it is also essential that all clinical trial data is publicly disclosed. We call upon WHO EURO to promote region-wide capacity building on HTA with the aim of correcting existing knowledge and expertise imbalances between Member States.
Finally, we wish to clearly state our commitment to the dialogue and engagement with all stakeholders; we reject and will oppose all attempts to curtail the legitimate voice of civil society organizations, be it at national or regional levels.

(i)                " These values include fairness, sustainability, quality,  transparency, accountability, gender equality, dignity and the right to  participate in decision-making"  Health 2020:  a European policy framework supporting action across government and society for health and well-being<http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/199536/Health2020-Short.pdf?ua=1> World Health Organization (WHO) Regional European Office, Copenhagen, 2013. Pp. 2  Available at http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/199536/Health2020-Short.pdf?ua=1

Link with document and  complete list of endorsing organisations http://haiweb.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Strengthening-MS-collaboration-on-A2M-in-WHO-EURO-.pdf

Jaume Vidal
Policy Advisor

Health Action International
Overtoom 60 (2)
1054 HK Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Office: +31 020 489 18 64 (direct) / +31 (0) 628318884 (cell./wsp)


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