[Ip-health] EB140: Intervention by India on Agenda Item 8.3 - Addressing the global shortage of medicines and vaccines

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Thu Jan 26 20:45:54 PST 2017


Intervention by India on Agenda Item 8.3 - Addressing the global shortage
of medicines and vaccines at the 140th Session of Executive Board of the
WHO delivered by Shri. Amal Pusp, Director, Ministry of Health and Family
Welfare on 26 January 2017

Mr. Chairman,

We fully support the proposal for addressing the concerns relating to
shortage of vaccine and medicines, including development of a global
medicines shortage notification system that would include information for
better detection and understanding the causes of medicine shortage. We
would like to place on record a few comments on the said report.

The present   WHO report discusses shortages largely in terms of
malfunctions in the supply chain. This definition implicitly excludes
innovation failure, strategic choices by manufacturers to discontinue the
production of less profitable drugs, market distortions and price barriers
to procurement. Price barriers may include IP provisions, unreasonably
stringent regulatory standards and lack of competition. In this context, we
would like to refer to the UNSG High Level Panel Report on Access to
Medicines, which inter alia recommended that: Governments should require
manufacturers and distributors of health technologies to disclose to drug
regulatory and procurement authorities information pertaining to : (1) the
costs of R&D, production, marketing and distribution of health technology;
and (2) any public funding received in the development of the health
technology including tax credits, subsidies and grants. These
recommendations are very much relevant to the development of this report.

We would suggest that WHO should establish and maintain an accessible
international database of prices of patented and generic medicines and
biosimilars in the private and public sectors of all countries where they
are registered.

We would request the Secretariat to develop a report, based on a broader
view of the cause of shortages including price etc., rather than focus
solely on supply chain malfunctions.

Finally, we would like to emphasize that the development of technical
definitions of medicines and vaccine shortages and stockouts, in terms of
WHA Resolution 69.25, must take due account of issues relating to access
and affordability, since addressing the problem of access to medicines is
more critical rather than just addressing shortages.

We hope that the EB will take note of these observations of our delegation
and will request WHO to take corrective steps accordingly.

With these words, I thank you Mr. Chairman.

More information about the Ip-health mailing list