[Ip-health] Statement of Medicus Mundi International, the Third World Network and the People's Health Movement: Agenda Item 10.2 Follow-up of the report of the Consultative Expert Working Group on Research and Development: Financing and Coordination

Thirukumaran Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Sat Jan 26 02:44:44 PST 2013


Thank you Chair. I am speaking on behalf of Medicus Mundi International, the Third World
Network, among other organisations and coalitions of the People’s Health Movement.

The  report  of  the  Consultative  Expert  Working  Group  on  Research  and  Development
represents  a  milestone  in  global  efforts  to  address  multiple  problems  inherent  in  the
commercially  driven  biomedical  health  Research  &  Development  system,  including
insufficient health R&D, unsustainable financing, fragmentation, and a lack of access to the
outcomes of essential health R&D. As stated in the CEWG report, these were identified over
two decades ago. The CEWG report explicitly linked innovation in health R&D with the need
for  affordable  access to the outcomes of this innovation. It linked the key  elements of
priorities, financing, coordination and access into a concerted global framework for health
R&D into Type II and Type III diseases, and the specific needs of developing countries related
to Type I diseases. These recommendations offer a paradigm shift through a legally binding
instrument to meet the unmet R&D needs of developing countries. 

However,  the  draft  resolution  represents  a  piecemeal  description  of  the  CEWG
recommendations.  It  does  not  reflect  the  clear  link  between  priorities,  financing,
coordination and access and key objectives and principles to ensure innovation and access.
Nor does it conceive of the outcomes of publicly funded R&D as global public goods. It is
also not clear if the pilot project would follow the principle of de-linking the cost of R&D
form the price of the product. 

Further, we are concerned about the language when it states the adoption of the resolution
by  the  WHA  without  re-opening  it.  This  might  put  pressure  on  Member  States  form
exercising their right provided under the WHO Constitution.

Finally we would like to recall, as others have already done, that, while WHO is undergoing
reform  process  and  making  efforts  to  ensure  efficient  use  of  resources,  the  neglected
diseases draft resolution seems to ignore the CEWG recommendations and rather follows a
fragmented approach.

Thank you.


Thiru Balasubramaniam
Geneva Representative
Knowledge Ecology International (KEI)

thiru at keionline.org

Tel: +41 22 791 6727
Mobile: +41 76 508 0997

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