[Ip-health] Statement of HAI, KEI and KEI Europe: 15.2 Follow-up of the report of the Consultative Expert Working Group on Research and Development

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Thu May 22 08:00:18 PDT 2014


Sixty-seventh World Health Assembly (A67/1)
Agenda Item:
15.2 Follow-up of the report of the Consultative Expert Working Group on
Research and Development

Chair and esteemed delegates

My name is Thiru Balasubramaniam. I’m speaking on behalf of Stichting
Health Action International, Knowledge Ecology International and KEI Europe.

HAI encourages the WHO to move forward on the recommendation of the CEWG
report to begin negotiations on a global treaty, to provide a new mechanism
to set global norms for healthcare research, including to ensure
sustainable sources of funding for priority medical research.

The CEWG has provided an initial proposal, to begin the discussion, but
also encouraged member states to revise the proposal.

Member states should expand the scope of the proposed agreement to address
such topics as additional funding for research on the development of new
antibiotic drugs, better low cost diagnostics, basic research in areas of
particular interest to all member states, and the funding of independent
clinical trials to evaluate the efficacy of pharmaceutical drugs.

The work on demonstration projects got off to a promising start, with many
innovative proposals in the way that R&D would be funded. Unfortunately,
the expert committee eliminated all proposals to create innovative funding
mechanisms, and simply recommended grants to do research on specific

Such grants are important, but hardly novel, and do not “demonstrate”
anything about the funding approaches that have not already been
demonstrated, several times.

The Secretariat wants to create a new pooled funding mechanism, hosted and
administered by TDR.  This proposal could be interesting, but the WHO needs
to be clear about why the proposal was not subject to the same review as
the other demonstration projects, and how it fits into the longer run
objective of creating global mechanisms to address R&D funding and

Ultimately, the WHO needs to address the issues raised by the Director
General, as regards trade negotiations that create barriers to the supply
of affordable drugs, and should see the R&D negotiations here on delinkage
of R&D costs and prices as an alternative paradigm.

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