[Ip-health] HHS Listening Session WHA72 – KEI Statement Regarding Follow-up to the UN High-level Meeting on Noncommunicable Diseases

Claire Cassedy claire.cassedy at keionline.org
Tue May 7 08:07:06 PDT 2019


HHS Listening Session WHA72 – KEI Statement Regarding Follow-up to the UN
High-level Meeting on Noncommunicable Diseases

Posted on May 7, 2019 by Claire Cassedy

On Monday May 6, 2019, KEI gave the following intervention during the
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Listening Session in advance
of the Seventy-second World Health Assembly to be held in Geneva on May
20-28, 2019.


KEI Statement – HHS Listening Session WHA72
11.8 Follow-up to the high-level meetings of the United Nations General
Assembly on health-related issues:
Prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases
Documents A72/19 and EB144/2019/REC/1, decision EB144(1)

My name is Claire Cassedy and I work for Knowledge Ecology International.
Today I’ll be commenting specifically on the follow-up to the high-level
meeting on the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases.

While there were positive aspects of the Political Declaration adopted as a
result of this process such as reaffirmation of the WTO Doha Declaration on
the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health, the declaration also repeatedly
encourages industry engagement and private sector partnerships while
greatly downplaying conflicts of interests and their inherent risks.

In Document A72/19, item 19 under the section on Follow-up outlines annual
and biannual consultations with private sector entities, while making no
such specific plans to involve civil society. Indeed while we are pleased
to see the commitment to, “promote meaningful civil society engagement,”
that commitment is towards the goal of encouraging governments to develop
multi sectoral responses to combat NCDs.

We urge the US to support greater inclusion of civil society in efforts to
prevent and control NCDs, and to both schedule regular consultations with
civil society (as is called for with industry) and to include civil society
in discussions with private partners as well, in order to ensure that
patients’ perspectives are balanced with those of industry.

The report outlining the follow-up to the high-level meeting on NCDs also
cites the commitment to helping Member States strengthen their health
systems, which includes, “access to safe, affordable, effective and quality
essential diagnostics, medicines, vaccines and technologies, and palliative
care.” In order to ensure that access, we urge the US to support
initiatives that address high drug prices, including supporting feasibility
studies for alternative incentives for R&D innovation that include
delinking the price of drugs from R&D costs.

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