Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Thu May 9 00:18:20 PDT 2019

This is from Politico's coverage today on the transparency resolution
consultations at WHO.

Politico reports that Germany is playing a leading role in attacking the
transparency resolution, and they could have added several more examples
than the ones mentioned.  Germany has asked for changes in 9 of the 10
paragraphs in the preamble, and 7 of the 9 operative paragraphs.

At the informal consultation on Tuesday, 7 May 2019, Germany proposed
eliminating all of the proposed disclosures that would be linked to
registration of products or services.  Specifically, Germany proposed the
elimination of requirements for annual reports on prices, quantities sold,
and marketing costs, as well as disclosures of the costs of clinical
trials, and grants, tax credits and other public subsidies related to a
product or service. Germany also opposes the reporting of all trial
outcomes, making patent landscapes transparent, and any language about even
considering alternatives to patent monopolies as an incentive for R&D.

Germany is also trying to coerce other members of the European Union into
an agreement that they can't challenge the pharmaceutical industry at the
World Health Assembly, without consensus in the EU first.  In practical
terms, this means, getting Germany's okay, which clearly, isn't about to
happen. Basically, Germany wants to block any challenges to the status quo,
which is one of very unequal access to information, in order to protect
Bayer and other German companies.

This today's Politico report, which also quotes Tim Reed from Health Action
International (HAI).


May 9, 2019

be making headway with winning support in its efforts to shed new light on
drug costs ahead of the World Health Assembly. Germany, in particular, is
emerging as a major detractor, logging 25 proposed changes during Tuesday’s
negotiations on the latest text — more than any other country, according to
an analysis of the latest draft by Knowledge Ecology International, which
supports more transparency for R&D costs.

Those proposals include downplaying calls to make clinical trial and
funding data public, and getting rid of a call for an expert panel to come
up with “alternative” incentive frameworks to “patent monopolies.” Denmark,
the U.K. and Sweden also swoop in at various points to stress that efforts
should be voluntary on a national level.

Postpone til next year? Germany’s objections aren’t limited to the
substance. Several EU countries are miffed with Italy for blowing past the
normal process of bringing these types of resolutions up in the Council of
the EU and instead going straight to the global forum. That’s prompting
Germany, along with France and the U.K., to prefer leaving the discussion
off the agenda at the WHA later this month, according to one diplomat, and
instead bring it up at the WHO’s executive board meeting in January.

Access NGOs frustrated: “There is a worrying chasm developing between the
global North and South, as seen in this week’s informal discussions,” said
Tim Reed of Health Action International, noting that Brazil, Bangladesh and
South Africa spoke in support of the resolution’s aims. “At a time when the
WHO should be showing leadership and clarity, stifling the debate not only
sends the wrong message, but perpetuates a status quo no longer tenable for
patients, public health system and society at large.” (Four EU countries —
Greece, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain — are co-sponsors of Italy’s
resolution.) The next round of talks is Friday.

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

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