[Ip-health] WHO EB140: Statement of India on UN HLP Report on Access to Medicines

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Sat Jan 28 02:22:19 PST 2017

Permanent Mission of India


140th Session of the Executive Board of the WHO

8.5 Follow-up of the report of the Consultative Expert Working Group on
Research and Development: Financing and Coordination

UNHLP Report on Access to Medicines

Mr. Chairman, we had earlier made our intervention on this subject when the
provisional agenda item 2 was taken up. In addition to that, we have the
following comments to make:

Mr. Chairman,

At the cost of repetition, delegation of India would like to request WHO to
adequately respond to the UN Secretary General’s High Level Panel report on
access to medicines, since the report is directly relevant to the GSPOA and
the follow up to the CEWG.

Some of the UNHLP recommendations merit immediate consideration, such as
utilizing public health-sensitive Intellectual Property Rights. For
example, countries making full use of TRIPS flexibilities, using licensing
agreements that ensure public health returns for publicly-funded research
(e.g. non-exclusive licensing, donation of IPR, data sharing, etc).,
Creating new incentives for R&D, beyond patent monopolies, coordinating and
sustainably financing R&D through innovative models, de-linking the costs
of R&D from the price of medicines, Negotiating a binding R&D Convention or
Agreement, based on de-linkage and other principles promoting public
health, Ensuring transparency, accountability and governance in the R&D

Some other recommendations which also merit immediate consideration are
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 being procured or given marketing
approval with each expense category separated; and (2) any public funding
received in the development of the health technology including tax credits,
subsidies and grants.

The UNHLP report recommends inter alia that building on the current
discussions at the WHO the UN Secretary-General should initiate a process
for governments to negotiate global agreements on the coordination,
financing and development of health technologies, including a binding R&D
convention that delinks costs of R&D from end prices to promote access to
good health for all.

We would like to emphasize that without comprehensively addressing the
issue of access to medicines and vaccines guided by the principles of
affordability and equity, we would not be able to achieve the SDGs and UHC
goals. The UNHLP report can be a very useful instrument to do that. India
would like to propose, therefore, that the EB should recommend to the 70th
World Health Assembly to convene an open-ended meeting of Member States to
discuss the recommendations of the UNHLP and other relevant recommendations
in the report of the CEWG. We would also urge the EB to ask WHO to
undertake a web based consultation with Member States, before the 70th
World Health Assembly, on the UNHLP report and its recommendations.

We would also request EB to consider including this item as a separate
agenda item for the 70th World Health Assembly.

Thank you.

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