[Ip-health] WHO Director General ‘Welcomes’ Costa Rica President’s Call For Pooled Rights To COVID-19 Treatments

kathryn ardizzone kathryn.ardizzone at keionline.org
Thu Mar 26 12:18:13 PDT 2020


*WHO Director General ‘Welcomes’ Costa Rica President’s Call For Pooled
Rights To COVID-19 Treatments*
Drug & Diagnostics Development 26/03/2020 • Elaine Ruth Fletcher

World Health Organization Director General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
has welcomed the call by Cost Rica’s President, Carlos Alvarado Quesada,
for WHO to launch an initiative that would “pool rights to technologies
that are useful for the detection, prevention, control and treatment of the
COVID-19 pandemic.”

“I welcome his initiative & call for pooled rights to #COVID19 diagnostics,
drugs & vaccines, said the WHO Director General in a reply Thursday on his
Twitter account to the presidential overture. “WHO is working closely with
governments & agencies around the world to promote rapid R&D. These efforts
are rooted in our commitment to equitable access for all.”

Alvarado’s letter, dated Monday 23 and co-signed by Costa Rica’s Health
Minister, Daniel Salas, also called for the creation of a “respository of
information on diagnostic tests, devices, medication or vaccines, with free
access or licensing on reasonable and affordable terms, in all member
countries of the Organization,” according to excerpts later posted on the
presidential website and Twitter account.

Meanwhile, in another letter to the WHO Director General dated 25 March,
the WHO hosted-partnership UNITAID,  offered to work with WHO and the
Medicines Patent Pool, a public-private partnership that it founded, to
identify “concrete steps to ensure that there will be equitable and timely
access to critical health technologies and products for COVID-19 for people
anywhere in the world.”

“We appreciate that several initiatives are underway or proposed that seek
to address access barriers; this includes but is not limited to the
proposal that has been sent to you by the President of Costa Rica about a
voluntary pool of patents for Covid-19 related medicines and technology,”
the UNITAID letter added.

In his letter, the Costa Rican president further urges the WHO to “develop
a memorandum of understanding to share this technology, and to promote its
implementation with financial support from the public and private sectors,
as well as from international organizations.”

The president also asked WHO’s Global Observatory on Health Research and
Development create a database on research and development activities
related to COVID-19, including estimates of the costs of clinical trials
and subsidies provided by governments and charities.

Kathryn Ardizzone, Esq.
Knowledge Ecology International
1621 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20009
kathryn.ardizzone at keionline.org
(202) 332-2670

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