[Ip-health] PAHO 29th Pan-American Sanitary Conference: Statement of Knowledge Ecology International on Draft Concept Note

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Wed Sep 27 10:21:26 PDT 2017


Submitted by Andrew Goldman on 27. September 2017 - 16:01

On Wednesday September 27, 2017, Knowledge Ecology International delivered
an intervention at the PAHO 29th Pan-American Sanitary Conference during
agenda item 8.10 on the Draft Concept Note towards WHO’s 13th General
Programme of Work 2019–2023. Andrew Goldman delivered the statement on
behalf of KEI.


"Mr. President:

Thank you for the opportunity to speak here today. Knowledge Ecology
International welcomes the spirit of change embodied in the Draft Concept
Note, but finds it lacking in specificity and avoidant of an explicit
recognition of the crisis of high prices for medical technologies, and of
the threat that the policy incoherence recognized in the the United Nations
Secretary-General’s High Level Panel on Access to Medicines places on the
ability to actualize universal health coverage.

We take the objective of access to medicine for all seriously, and we do
not believe this is possible unless there is a change in the business model
for funding the R&D for new drugs.

So long as governments rely upon the grant of a monopoly to induce
investments in R&D, there will be monopolies on new drugs and the high
prices that come with monopolies.

We would like to see policy makers and organizations like the WHO and PAHO
consider the practical measures needed to change the business model, and
delink R&D financing incentives from high prices and monopolies. The first
step is to undertake studies of the feasibility of introducing delinkage,
perhaps for specific diseases.

The WHO has a variety of existing commitments under which to move forward
on these issues, for example, important resolutions such as the CEWG, the
GSPOA, and the cancer resolution passed during the most recent World Health
Assembly (WHA 70.12).

We appreciate that the Draft Concept Note acknowledges the important role
that the WHO must play in coordinating collective action, and second the
comments of India at the 70th SEARO regional committee meeting in calling
for the WHO to lead negotiations on a global R&D agreement, which could
provide global norms for funding R&D as a public good."

Thiru Balasubramaniam
Geneva Representative
Knowledge Ecology International
41 22 791 6727
thiru at keionline.org

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