[Ip-health] DHHS Listening Session on WHA 2018: Comment on Agenda Item 11.7 Preparation for the third High-level Meeting of the General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases, to be held in 2018

Claire Cassedy claire.cassedy at keionline.org
Thu May 17 08:27:46 PDT 2018


https://www.keionline.org/27828

DHHS Listening Session on WHA 2018: Comment on Agenda Item 11.7 Preparation
for the third High-level Meeting of the General Assembly on the Prevention
and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases, to be held in 2018
Posted on May 17, 2018 by Claire Cassedy

On Friday May 11, 2018, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
held its annual listening session in advance of the upcoming Seventy-First
World Health Assembly. Comments were limited to 2 minutes, with no time set
aside for a question and answer session. On behalf of KEI, I offered this
intervention on the topic of the high-level meeting on NCDs to be held in
New York this September:

KEI Comments Item 11.7 Preparation for the third High-level Meeting of the
General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable
Diseases, to be held in 2018
HHS Listening Session – May 11, 2018
—-
I represent Knowledge Ecology International, an NGO in official relations
with the World Health Organization (WHO).We advocate for the public’s
interest through the development of informed, innovative solutions that
address market failures, including under-investments in R&D, unequal and
unfair access to drugs, vaccines and diagnostics for non-communicable
diseases (NCDs), and greater transparency of all stages of drug
development, distribution and use.

KEI is heartened by the convening of the upcoming High-level Meeting of the
General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable
diseases, and urges the United States to engage all stakeholders equally in
consideration of the actions and outcomes to be discussed.

Too often industry partners are given undue consideration in these
discussions, without policy makers acknowledging the inherent conflicts of
interest that the pharmaceutical companies hold, or fully appreciating and
respecting the concerns of patients and taxpayers who have to either pay
for products or suffer the consequences of not having access to the
treatments.

In the report by the Director-General on the preparations for the
high-level meeting on NCDs, under the objective seeking to strengthen
health systems, the report notes that, “a set of evidence-based and
cost-effective interventions has been updated,” in order to, “help
countries prioritize their national plans.”

Beyond identifying cost-effective interventions, the US and the WHO should
be working to address the costs of the interventions themselves, and the
measures that countries can undertake to control those costs and expand
access, particularly to new drugs for cancer and rare diseases, and other
budget-breaking interventions.

As the nation with the most robust national government funding of
biomedical R&D and generous subsidies to drug developers (such as the
Orphan Drug Tax Credit) the US should support norms that would push other
countries to match our R&D subsidies. This would be a significantly better
target on addressing freeriding rather than pushing for access limiting
increases in drug prices abroad.

A PDF of these comments is available here:
https://www.keionline.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/KEI-Comments-Item-11.7-NCD-Mtg-HHS-Listening-Session-WHA71.pdf


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