WHO Holds Online Hearing On Innovation, IP Project17/08/2007 by Tove Iren S. Gerhardsen for Intellectual Property Watch Leave a CommentShare this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Much of our best content is available only to IP Watch subscribers. We are a non-profit independent news service, and subscribing to our service helps support our goals of bringing more transparency to global IP and innovation policies. To access all of our content, please subscribe now.By Tove Iren S. Gerhardsen The World Health Organization is inviting participation in a six-week online public hearing from anyone interested in commenting on an ongoing process on how to ensure treatments for neglected diseases mainly found in developing countries.“WHO again encourages individuals, civil society groups, government institutions, academic and research institutions, the private sector and other interested parties to contribute to the open hearings between 15 August and 30 September,” WHO said in a press release.The WHO does not clarify exactly how these contributions will be part of the meeting as the draft negotiation text has already been finalised, but says, “Contributions … will form part of the documentation to be considered and discussed at the November meeting.”The comment process, at http://www.who.int/phi/public_hearings/second/ is taking place through the WHO Intergovernmental Working Group on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property (IGWG), which has been underway for over a year now.The aim of the IGWG is to come up with a global strategy and plan of action for how to increase research into, and the development of, medicines for so-called neglected diseases predominantly found in developing countries. The draft negotiating document published recently by WHO – incorporating suggestions and discussions so far – limits the focus to 14 diseases, including those more recognised like cancer and HIV/AIDS, as well as the lesser-known such as Chagas disease (IPW, Public Health, 8 August 2007).The IGWG held its first meeting in December 2006 and the second – and last meeting scheduled so far – is set for 5-10 November (IPW, Public Health, 11 December 2006). Submissions in this online public hearing will feed into this meeting.A WHO source told Intellectual Property Watch that in the hearing, member states and others could comment on the draft global strategy and plan of action (A/PH/IGWG/2/2) as well as on the latest resolution (WHA60.30) http://www.who.int/gb/ebwha/pdf_files/WHA60/A60_R30-en.pdf in the process, which was adopted at the World Health Assembly in May.This resolution requests WHO to get more involved in supporting member states using trade law to improve access to treatments, and to encourage discussion of new incentive mechanisms for research and development. In general, it aimed at strengthening the IGWG process (IPW, Public Health, 23 May 2007). Brazil first introduced this resolution and it was agreed among member states, with the United States abstaining.The first consultation round took place on 1-15 November 2006. http://www.who.int/phi/submissions/en/ Separately, member states had an opportunity to provide additional submissions in the aftermath of the December meeting and until the end of February, which was used to develop the negotiation draft text. These were collected in a separate document (A/PHA/IGWG/I/5). http://www.who.int/phi/submissions/en/WHO says submissions can be made online or via fax (0041 22 791 48 89), with further instructions found at the designated web site: http://www.who.int/phi/public_hearings/second/. Submissions must not exceed five (A4 size) pages, and a summary of up to 500 words is encouraged, WHO said.Tove Gerhardsen may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Share this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Related"WHO Holds Online Hearing On Innovation, IP Project" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.