[Ip-health] WHO news release: WHO and Costa Rica preview technology pooling initiative to ensure access to COVID-19 health products for all

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Fri May 15 22:28:16 PDT 2020

WHO and Costa Rica preview technology pooling initiative to ensure access
to COVID-19 health products for all
15 May 2020
News release


Geneva, 15 May 2020 – Presidents Carlos Alvarado Quesada of Costa Rica and
Sebastián Piñera of Chile joined WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom
Ghebreyesus today to announce progress on a technology platform that aims
to lift access barriers to effective vaccines, medicines and other health
products against COVID-19. Costa Rica proposed the idea at the beginning of
the COVID-19 outbreak and several countries are now backing the proposal.

“Our proposal relies on solidarity,” said President Alvarado of Costa Rica.
“It’s a Solidarity call to action to Member States, to academia, to
companies, research institutions and cooperation agencies, based on global
social responsibility, on a voluntary basis, promoting more global
nonexclusive voluntary licensing.”

“We need to unleash the full power of science, without caveats or
restrictions, to deliver innovations that are scalable, usable, and benefit
everyone, everywhere, at the same time,” said WHO Director-General Dr
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

“Traditional market models will not deliver at the scale needed to cover
the entire globe. Solidarity within and between countries and the private
sector is essential if we are to overcome these difficult times.”

“Chile, like most countries in the international community, considers that
only through international cooperation is it possible to emerge victorious
from the crisis caused by COVID-19,” said Ambassador Cristian Streeter,
Director of Multilateral Policy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, speaking on
behalf of President Piñera of Chile.

The platform will pool data, knowledge and intellectual property for
existing or new COVID-19 health products to deliver ‘global public goods’
for all people and all countries. Through the open sharing of science and
data, numerous companies will be able to access the information they need
to produce the technologies, thereby scaling up availability worldwide,
lowering costs and increasing access.

WHO and Costa Rica will officially launch the platform on 29 May. On that
date, a Solidarity Call to Action will be published on WHO’s web site where
governments, research and development funders, institutions and companies
can express their support.

The solidarity of all of WHO’s Member States will be critical to ensuring
the technology platform can be a meaningful tool for equitable access to
COVID-19 health products.

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

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