[Ip-health] HAI intervention on WHO EB agenda item 10.2: Follow-up of the CEWG report

Tessel Mellema tessel at haieurope.org
Fri Jan 25 09:43:31 PST 2013


Oral statement by Stichting Health Action International on the occasion
of the 132nd session of the Executive Board.

Agenda item 10.2: Follow-up of the report of the Consultative Expert
Working Group (CEWG) on Research and Development Financing and


At the open-ended meeting in November, Member States adopted a draft
report and resolution on the follow-up of the report of the Consultative
Expert Working Group. This comes after ten years of inter-governmental
debate and several expert reports with concrete proposals on how to fix
an R&D system that fails to deliver medicines for the majority of people
that need them. 


Given the body of concrete proposals and the widely shared recognition
of the urgency of this problem, this draft resolution is disappointing
for its lack of ambition and lack of concrete commitments. 


Therefore, it is most worrying that the draft report recommends "the
adoption of the resolution by the WHA without re-opening it". This when
the draft resolution was adopted after 2am, when only 25 Member States
were left in the room and interpretation in the official languages had
long stopped. We believe that a draft resolution adopted by a small
number of Member States under less than ideal conditions should not
include such a far-reaching recommendation to the Executive Board. 


The only more concrete commitment that can be distilled from the draft
resolution is the call to establish an R&D Observatory. An important and
positive step, but the mandate and structure of this observatory remain
unclear. It should be clear that this Observatory will have sufficient
resources and is there to perform two critical functions: mapping
existing R&D resources, and identification of priority areas of
needs-driven R&D. 


Further, in the draft resolution Member States commit to undertake
"health R&D demonstration projects", but without giving further detail.
The CEWG in its report has developed key principles that should govern
R&D in the public interest based on principles of delinkage and
knowledge sharing. The CEWG has evaluated and recommended five concrete
proposals that best incorporate these principles and we would expect to
see exactly these proposals to be operationalized through these pilot


The draft resolution does not adequately respond to the urgent need to
fix an R&D system that fails to deliver and it does not adequately take
into account the recommendations made by the Consultative Expert Working
Group -  that recommends a global coordinating mechanism for research
and development - linking priorities, financing, and access.


Against this background we urgently request that the distinguished EB
Members reject the recommendation that the World Health Assembly should
adopt the resolution without re-opening it, and allow for full
discussion of this draft report at the WHA. 




Tessel Mellema

Project Officer - Trade, Innovation & Access to Medicines


Health Action International (HAI) Europe

Overtoom 60 II, 1054 HK Amsterdam 

t. +31 20 683 3684

f. +31 20 685 5002

e. Tessel at haieurope.org <mailto:Tessel at haieurope.org>  

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Health Action International (HAI) is an independent, global network
working to increase access to essential medicines and improve their
rational use through research excellence and evidence-based advocacy.


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