[Ip-health] WHO - 142nd Executive Board - EU statement: Item 3.6 - Addressing the global shortage of, and access to, medicines and vaccines

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Tue Feb 6 06:24:08 PST 2018


https://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/un-geneva/38795/
who-142nd-executive-board-eu-statement-item-36-addressing-
global-shortage-and-access-medicines_en

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<SNIP>


Another obstacle is the very high price of some innovative medicines that
can place extra burden on health systems and their sustainability (examples
Hepatitis C, cancer and some new gene therapies). We recognise the need to
address this situation, including by promoting transparency and synergies
in this context as well as fair pricing. Innovation has a crucial role and
the high cost of research and development of medicines that address current
and future medical needs must be better understood. Continued efforts to
finance, stimulate and improve research, will remain essential, with
particular emphasis on the development of affordable and effective
solutions for diseases (and their prevention) that predominantly affect
developing countries, which increasingly includes non-communicable diseases.



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WHO - 142nd Executive Board - EU statement: Item 3.6 - Addressing the
global shortage of, and access to, medicines and vaccines

Geneva, 25/01/2018 - 00:00, UNIQUE ID: 180126_7
Statements on behalf of the EU

World Health Organization 142nd Executive Board Geneva, 22 January – 27
January 2018 EU statement: Item 3.6 - Addressing the global shortage of,
and access to, medicines and vaccines

Mr. Chair,

I am speaking on behalf of the European Union and its Member States. The
Candidate Countries Montenegro[1] and Albania*, and the country of the
Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and
Herzegovina as well as Ukraine, align themselves with this statement.

The EU and its Member States welcome WHO’s comprehensive report under this
agenda item, although we are disappointed at the late delivery of the
document. The report highlights the complexity of the multiple factors that
may, through various mechanisms, have an impact on access to medicines and
vaccines. We welcome WHO looking at the whole pharmaceutical value chain in
a comprehensive health systems approach. We welcome a WHO debate on this
within the mandate and context of WHO’s responsibilities. The main issue,
to be solved, is access to safe effective and quality essential medicines
and vaccine as part of target 3.8 of the SDGs. This is a major issue
highlighted, for example, by the report’s finding that in some countries
less than 10% of facilities have a complete basket of essential medicines
for treating noncommunicable diseases.

We thank the Secretariat for providing a detailed situation analysis. We
welcome the analysis of the multiple barriers to access to medicines and we
thank the Secretariat for providing a prioritised list of activities that
they expect to provide greatest return for investment. We welcome also the
reference to biotechnological progress and underline that WHO needs to
respond to the ongoing rapid transformation of the biomedical research,
development and innovation ecosystem. We welcome the references to AMR as
an issue that is integral to WHO’s role in improving access to safe,
effective, and quality medicines, vaccines and health products.

All regions of the world are confronted, at different levels, with
insufficient access to medical products. Different regional problems
require corresponding answers to the respective regional problems. We
stress the importance of good governance, adequate regulatory and workforce
capacity, building and expanding local pharmaceutical production that
corresponds to international standards, and more efficient supply chains.

Another obstacle is the very high price of some innovative medicines that
can place extra burden on health systems and their sustainability (examples
Hepatitis C, cancer and some new gene therapies). We recognise the need to
address this situation, including by promoting transparency and synergies
in this context as well as fair pricing. Innovation has a crucial role and
the high cost of research and development of medicines that address current
and future medical needs must be better understood. Continued efforts to
finance, stimulate and improve research, will remain essential, with
particular emphasis on the development of affordable and effective
solutions for diseases (and their prevention) that predominantly affect
developing countries, which increasingly includes non-communicable diseases.

On public health, innovation and intellectual property, the EU and its
Member States believe that the GSPOA, which has been approved by Member
States, provides an overarching framework to guide our work. And we
encourage WHO to continue the fruitful trilateral cooperation with WIPO and
WTO.

Taken together, the recommendations made by WHO in this report identify a
wide range of important areas of activity that can help achieve our shared
goals in this domain. We support the decision that introduces a
participatory process to develop a WHO roadmap on access to medicines and
vaccines.

Mr. Chair,

Access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medical
products to all is a fundamental element for the realisation of the human
right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and
mental health and of universal health coverage and the SDG’s. Access to
medicines has to be seen through a public health and human rights lens.

The existence of an autonomous agenda item in the EB to discuss the global
shortage of and access to, medicines and vaccines is a positive step and
will give us the opportunity to have a constructive debate. We believe that
WHO has an essential role to play in helping Member States to address the
obstacles to access to medicines and recognise the importance of WHO action
and guidance on such a challenging multisectoral issue.

Thank you.


________________________________

[1] Montenegro and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and
Association Process.




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


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