[Ip-health] WHA71: KEI statement on the Draft thirteenth general programme of work, 2019–2023

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Mon May 21 13:36:24 PDT 2018


WHA71: KEI statement on the Draft thirteenth general programme of work,


At the 71st World Health Assembly, KEI will deliver the following
intervention regarding the Draft thirteenth general programme of work,


Strategic priority matters

11.1 Draft thirteenth general programme of work, 2019–2023

KEI endorses the WHO’s unwavering commitment to universal health coverage
in the draft 13th General Programme of Work. As noted by the GPW, “WHO’s
role in providing global public goods that help to ensure health for all
people..has never been more relevant.”

The key to achieving universal health coverage is reducing reliance upon,
and eventually abandoning the practice of, using high prices and patent
monopolies as the incentive to invest in R&D.

Delinkage models expand the role of direct funding of research and
subsidies for trial costs, and use money, rather than monopolies, as the
incentive mechanism. Without delinkage, the WHO will never achieve
universal health coverage.

GPW13 should envision a pathway to evaluate and implement alternative
business models consistent with universal access to products, which means,
in practical terms, the progressive implementation of delinkage — which is
essential to reducing prices without undermining innovation.

Essential to any evaluation or reform of incentives is better economic
data. The WHO should explore norms and mechanisms to enhance the
transparency of R&D costs, disaggregated by the stage of development, and
data on prices, access and revenues.

The GPW reflects a clear lack of ambition in relation to access to cancer
medicines. As countries wrestle with affordability issues, they can seek
technical assistance from the WHO or other entities in order to use lawful
pathways to ensure treatments are affordable and widely available —
including through the granting of compulsory licenses. The WHO should be
much more proactive in this regard; rather than waiting passively for
countries to approach the WHO for assistance, the WHO could organize
regional workshops to share expertise on various technical and practical
aspects of compulsory licenses, and other related topics including the
ability of Members to implement limitations on remedies for patent

Thiru Balasubramaniam
Geneva Representative
Knowledge Ecology International
41 22 791 6727
thiru at keionline.org

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