[Ip-health] WHA 68: MSF intervention on Global Strategy and Plan of Action on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property

Michelle French Michelle.French at newyork.msf.org
Fri May 22 08:34:40 PDT 2015

 Available online here:  
See all our WHA 68 interventions and briefing documents here:  

WHO 68th World Health Assembly, 2015
Provisional agenda item 17.5 – Global Strategy and Plan of Action on 
Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property
Speaker: Shailly Gupta

MSF strongly supports the 2022 extension of the mandate of the Global 
Strategy and Plan of Action on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual 

We are far from fully implementing the Global Strategy. Every day MSF sees 
the important role the Global Strategy, if fully and properly implemented, 
could play in ensuring access and innovation to medicines.

Today we see increasing failures with our current system of research and 
development (R&D) with respect to Ebola, AMR or a range of neglected 
diseases. New essential medicines are coming to market at unaffordable 
prices, including up to 1,000 USD per pill for medicines to treat 
hepatitis C. The price of the basic vaccines package has increased 68-fold 
since 2001, straining immunisation systems worldwide.

Instead of new approaches to R&D that could ensure needs-based innovation 
and access, some governments, pushed by multinational pharmaceutical 
companies, are seeking to increase intellectual property (IP) protection 
worldwide, which will only deepen the challenges that MSF and others face 
in accessing treatments, diagnostics and vaccines. 

For example, 12 countries are continuing negotiations of the Trans-Pacific 
Partnership Agreement this month.  This trade agreement could be the most 
damaging ever for access to medicines.  India, the ‘pharmacy of the 
developing world’, is under continuous pressure by developed countries and 
drug companies to introduce strict IP rules that will undermine access to 
medicines worldwide. 

We hope WHO, with an extended mandate, can take bold and decisive action, 
working with Member States to introduce policies to increase access to 
medicines and introduce new models of innovation that de-link the 
financing of R&D from the incentive of high prices. This can address the 
shortcomings of the patent system that leaves millions of patients unable 
to access unaffordable new medical tools, or simply without the tools that 
the patent monopoly system neglects to create. 


Michelle French
Sr. Communications Manager, MSF Access Campaign
Doctors Without Borders\Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)
Office: +1.212.763.5735 | Mobile: +1.646.552.4600
michelle.french at newyork.msf.org | Skype: michellejfrench
www.msfaccess.org | twitter.com/MSF_access | www.facebook.com/MSFaccess

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