[Ip-health] Intellectual Property Watch: WHO Moves IP, Innovation Out Of Director General’s Office
thiru at keionline.org
Wed Oct 20 00:07:59 PDT 2010
Intellectual Property Watch
19 October 2010
WHO Moves IP, Innovation Out Of Director General’s Office
By Kaitlin Mara @ 8:04 pm
The World Health Organization has moved responsibility for
intellectual property and innovation issues out of the direct control
of the WHO director general and into the company of information,
evidence and research, according to sources.
The WHO Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property (PHI)
programme will move to the cluster on Information, Evidence and
Research, the WHO press office confirmed today. It was previously in
the director general’s office.
PHI now answers to the assistant director-general on Information,
Evidence and Research Marie-Paule Kieny.
The move takes effect on 1 November, according to an internal message
from the director general to WHO staff circulated today by Knowledge
Ecology International. The Information, Evidence and Research cluster
will be renamed the Innovation, Information, Evidence and Research
cluster in recognition of the “importance of innovation in improving
health, and of collaboration to facilitate access to new
technologies,” the internal message said.
A French national, Kieny is new to the division. The WHO website says
she took up the post in October 2010. Previously, she directed the WHO
Initiative for Vaccine Research since it began in 2001, with
significant involvement in WHO efforts on pandemic influenza vaccines.
She also previously served at the French Institute national de la
santé et de la recherche médicale, and worked at Transgene, a French
According to a (now outdated) organigram [pdf] of the WHO, this puts
PHI in the company of the following programmes: Ethics, Equity, Trade
and Human Rights; Knowledge Management and Sharing; Measurement and
Health Information Systems; Research Policy and Cooperation; and the
Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases.
PHI is the division responsible for overseeing the overall
implementation of the WHO Global Strategy and Plan of Action on Public
Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property. One major issue on its
agenda for the year is a new expert working group on financing
research and development of drugs for neglected diseases, after member
states said a report by a previous expert group on that topic did not
address critical concerns.
A description of major decisions on IP and health taken at the May
2010 World Health Assembly is available here for IPW subscribers: IPW,
WHO, 27 July 2010. The division has seen a few personnel changes in
recent months (IPW, WHO, 23 April 2010), but this move appears to be
one of many internal changes taking place at the WHO.
Knowledge Ecology International (KEI)
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