[Ip-health] World Health Assembly (WHA 67) agrees to create pooled R&D fund, endorses delinkage of R&D costs from product prices

Jamie Love james.love at keionline.org
Sat May 24 04:11:37 PDT 2014

World Health Assembly (WHA 67) agrees to create pooled R&D fund, endorses
delinkage of R&D costs from product prices


Today the World Health Assembly (WHA) reached consensus on a "decision"
regarding the Consultative Expert Working Group (CEWG) on Research and
Development. The final document gave the WHO Secretariat a mandate to
create a new pooled funding mechanism for R&D that will be administered by
TDR.* The choice of TDR to administer the fund raised red flags, expressed
by KEI and others, because the current TDR mandate for research is focused
on tropical diseases, which is narrow, and could be seen as further
narrowing the ambitions of the CEWG R&D reforms. The WHA addressed this
issue by including in the decision a statement "recognizing that the scope
of the diseases should not be limited to type III diseases but should be in
line with the GSPA-PHI mandate." The decision further elaborated this point
by saying the pooled funding mechanism would deal with "research and
development for "type III and II diseases and the specific research and
development needs of developing countries in relation to type I diseases."

The WHA deicision also "requested the addition of an analysis of the extent
of innovative components being implemented by the projects including
financing, the use of open access models, multisectoral research platforms,
and delinkage, among other criteria."

The decision effectively creates a multilateral R&D funding mechanism that
favors open access, and will implement delinkage of R&D costs from product

Responding to the decision, KEI Director James Love said "today's decision
appears to be an important advance in the implementation of delinkage of
R&D costs and product prices, and creating a small but potentially
important building block for global negotiations on R&D funding -- a
welcome change of paradigm from agreements focusing only on IPR and higher
drug prices."

Judit Rius of the MSF Access Campaign told KEI "This is a step in the right
direction. Countries are moving in the direction of more funding of R&D. I
want to see how the demonstration projects implement delinkage. This
decision should be followed by the more ambitious discussions in 2015
regarding norms for R&D funding and delinkage. I want countries to step up!"

Thiru Balasubramaniam, Managing Director of KEI Europe, said, "the
inclusion of the specific needs of developing countries for Type 1 diseases
is important, and delinkage is now becoming part of the DNA of the WHO
discussions about R&D."

*Created in 1974, "TDR is the Special Programme for Research and Training
in Tropical Diseases, is a global programme of scientific collaboration
that helps facilitate, support and influence efforts to combat diseases of
poverty. It is hosted at the World Health Organization (WHO), and is
sponsored by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United
Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank and WHO."

[2] http://keionline.org/sites/default/files/A67_BCONF2Rev1-en.pdf

James Love.  Knowledge Ecology International
http://www.keionline.org, KEI DC tel: +1.202.332.2670, US Mobile:
+1.202.361.3040, Geneva Mobile: +41.76.413.6584,   twitter.com/jamie_love

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