WHO Puts Nearly $150 Billion Price Tag On Global R&D Strategy For Neglected DiseasesPublished on 22 January 2009 @ 1:41 pm
Intellectual Property Watch
By Kaitlin Mara
Estimated funding needs for the implementation of the World Health Organization strategy on global public health and intellectual property have been revealed in a new document.
The document lays out element by element the expected cost of implementing the Global Strategy and Plan of Action on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property at the national and international levels. It is available here [pdf]. The global strategy and plan of action are expected to be discussed at the WHO on Saturday.
Estimated needs total more than US$2 billion for the years 2009 to 2015 in order to build capacity to innovate and to deliver health products, engage in technology transfer and in the application and management of intellectual property, promote new research and development and sustainable financing mechanisms for that R&D, and establish monitoring systems. It also budgets an additional US $147 billion for the actual cost of research, including education of researchers and infrastructure building, noting that this number is difficult to determine ahead of time.
This list of expected costs is one of the outstanding elements on the plan of action [pdf] the WHO secretariat had been tasked with completing by this week’s Executive Board (EB) meeting. The board, which advises and makes recommendations to the annual WHO World Health Assembly (WHA), is meeting from 19 to 27 January. The global strategy and plan of action were adopted at the WHA in May 2008, but some elements of the plan of action could not be completed at that time and were given as interim work for the secretariat.
Other outstanding elements meant to be finished by this week include a draft set of progress indicators [pdf] for success in implementation, published on 18 December, and a finalisation of key actors meant to carry out each element of the implementation process. The final list of actors has not yet been released by the WHO, but an informal meeting of diverse member states gathering on 18 January released a document with a proposed consensus (IPW, WHO, 20 January 2009).
Kaitlin Mara may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.