[Ip-health] WHA71: KEI statement on Global strategy and plan of action on public health, innovation and intellectual property

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Sun May 20 23:37:37 PDT 2018


https://www.keionline.org/27890

WHA71: KEI statement on Global strategy and plan of action on public
health, innovation and intellectual property


At the 71st World Health Assembly, KEI will deliver the following
intervention regarding the Global Strategy and Plan of Action on Public
Heatlh, Innovation, and Intellectual Property:

11.6 Global strategy and plan of action on public health, innovation and
intellectual property
Documents A71/13 and EB142/2018/REC/1, decision EB142(4)

WHO’s work program on public health, innovation, and intellectual property
includes notable objectives, but also omissions.

We are encouraged to see support for the expansion the portfolio of the
Medicines Patent Pool to include other diseases including cancer, an area
where treatment disparities are stark and unacceptable.

The WHO continues to recognize that work is needed to implement,
progressively, the delinkage of R&D incentives from the price of goods and
services, and indeed, without progress on his front, universal access will
never be achieved. Given disparities in incomes between and within
countries, universal access is only feasible if prices are allowed to fall
to generic levels, and new sets of incentives to reward successful R&D
efforts are not linked to prices. Initial steps in this direction involve
mere feasibility studies.

It was good to see modest objectives on transparency, but we were appalled
that one country opposed transparency of R&D costs, even though R&D costs
are the one and only excuse for access-limiting high prices. More to the
point, if you never have transparency and reliable data on R&D costs by
specific products, you are destined to be subject to endless manipulation
by big drug company misinformation campaigns, leaving poor people
defenseless to bogus arguments to justify unjustifiable prices and
inequalities. We need real, rather than fake, data on R&D costs.

Governments do need to be reminded that it’s time to end provisions in
trade agreements that make it harder to obtain access for affordable
products and new services such as CAR T. We are very concerned that one
country recently announced a policy that is explicitly on the objective of
raising drug prices around the world. This is tragic failure of analysis
and morality, and that county needs to revise its thinking.

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


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