[Ip-health] WHA 2010 > Intervention by Médecins Sans Frontières International on Public health, innovation and intellectual property: global strategy and plan of action

Guillaume.Bonnet at geneva.msf.org Guillaume.Bonnet at geneva.msf.org
Tue May 18 08:15:20 PDT 2010

INTERVENTION BY Médecins Sans Frontières International

63rd WHO World Health Assembly, Agenda Item 11.3
Public health, innovation and intellectual property: global strategy and
plan of action

Speaker: Michelle Childs, Director of Policy and Advocacy for the Access

Thank you Chair.

Médecins Sans Frontières urges Members States not to allow the momentum
that led to The Global Strategy and Plan of Action to be lost, and to
overcome the fundamental problems associated with the current commercial-
reward-driven R&D

It is vital that the leadership of the WHO prioritises the Strategy’s
implementation and ensures that the appropriate resources and expertise
within the secretariat are not only maintained but strengthened, including
where relevant engaging the support of expert committees. In this work the
WHO must also include a commitment to meaningful engagement with public
interest groups.

In relation to the Outcome of the Member State Consultation on the expert
working group report, we share those concerns raised by Members States that
insufficient attention was paid to the need to de-link the costs of
research and development from the price of health products and that the
criteria used to evaluate proposals did not take proper account of the
relevant aspects of intellectual property rights.

Innovation is meaningless without access.  A range of different funding
mechanisms that allow de-linkage including push mechanisms (like PDPs) and
pull mechanisms (like prizes) must be designed in a way that they deliver
products that are able to answer medical needs, and that they encourage
developers to consider the final cost of products during the design
process, in order to ensure affordability.

The process agreed by Member States to address the limitations in the
report must be guided by a strong terms of reference; that includes a
specific review of current and proposed mechanisms to stimulate R&D in
order to assess whether those deliver against the principle of de-linkage.
Building on this, the WHO needs to provide guidance to Member States and
stakeholders on ways to implement the principle of de-linkage.

We encourage Member States to establish innovative mechanisms that are
based on de-linkage principles, in accordance with Element 5.3 of the
Global Strategy and Plan of Action. Individual initiatives that can be
established quickly, like a prize fund for a TB point-of-care diagnostic
test, should be piloted and the UNITAID patent pool supported.

The lack of new and concrete financial mechanisms for financing R&D is
concerning. We urge the WHO to publically advocate for the funding needs of
health R&D in all fora where innovative financing mechanisms such as the
financial transaction tax are discussed.

In parallel stakeholders must also begin the important, long term work on
developing and agreeing the norms and principles that should guide research
and development for health needs-driven R&D in a way that ensures equitable

Thank you Chair.

Guillaume Bonnet, Press officer

Doctors Without Borders / Médecins Sans Frontières
Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines

mobile: +41 79 203 13 02
direct line: +41 22 849 84 03

skype: guillaume_bonnet_msf

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