[Ip-health] WHO CEWG 2016: Opening statement of Oxfam

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Mon May 2 07:28:07 PDT 2016

*Oxfam general statement*
*The Consultative Expert Working Group (CEWG) Report: Financing and

Oxfam commends the work of the CEWG and would like to highlight 3 points:

1.        *The UN High Level Panel* (HLP) provides a unique opportunity to
strengthen CEWG recommendations and to add other key dimensions to the
global R&D and access system. The HLP emphasises a human rights framework
for R&D. We hope that the panel’s report reinstates the supremacy of the
human right to health over intellectual property rights. The HLP recognises
the global nature of R&D/access questions and we hope that it* s*eeks
global solutions that address the need for adequate financing of R&D for
all health technologies required for public health, as well as the
affordability of these technologies. This tension can only be addressed by
delinking the financing of R&D from pricing of products. We are pleased
that two areas are likely to move forwards with delinking: AMR and R&D for
emerging infections

*We hope that the CEWG takes the HLP points on human rights framework and
the global nature of the diseases into account when moving forwards*

2.        *Financing R&D*: It is very disappointing that member states have
not funded the agreed demonstration projects. Clearly the CEWG
recommendations, and importantly the actual R&D work cannot happen without
secure funding.

*We urge the CEWG to establish mechanisms for all countries to contribute
an obligatory % of GDP to R&D for medical technologies as a matter of
urgency as part of an overall R&D framework*

3.        *Transparency* is fundamental to R&D given that many issues
related to medicines R&D and access are shrouded in secrecy. Transparency
should include:

·        Real cost of R&D: this is critical because it is difficult to
estimate the funds needed for R&D without knowing the real cost. Moreover,
the current figure provided by Tufts University includes the cost of
failures. It seems like the current system rewards failure instead of
incentivizing success
·        Patent status in all countries
·        Clinical trials, whether successful or failed. Secrecy results in
wastage, inefficiency and putting patients through trials unnecessarily (if
trials were successful before), or through an unethical process if trials
failed before
·        FTA negotiations - including on all issues related to IP and
Investor-To-State Dispute Settlement
·        Pricing arrangements

*We urge the CEWG to strongly promote transparency in these aspects*

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