World Health Assembly: R&D Drafting Group Documents Show Country Differences

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A set of documents obtained by Intellectual Property Watch and in use by today’s closed-door negotiations on research and development for neglected diseases at the World Health Assembly lay out the core differences between WHO members. Negotiations are expected to last into the night as members try to agree on how to take forward recommendations from a key report – including to negotiate a binding convention on R&D for diseases left behind in the marketplace.

The annual World Health Assembly is meeting from 21-26 May. A special drafting group was set up to address the recommendations of a report from the Consultative Expert Working Group (CEWG).

The CEWG report is here.

Four different proposals were put forward by member states suggesting ways to move forward with the report.

One proposal came from Switzerland, one from Kenya, one from UNASUR (the Union of South American countries), and one from Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, and the United States.

Generally speaking, the Kenya and UNASUR proposals seek to move toward a binding instrument to promote financing for neglected disease R&D, the Swiss proposal is somewhat open, and the proposal from the United States and others does not support a binding instrument.

For its private meeting today, the drafting group produced several documents, breaking up similar items in the four proposals into four different documents. The four new documents are grouped by: the preambular paragraphs, operative paragraphs (which call for an action) listed by action, a side-by-side chart of operative paragraphs, and a flow chart of possible actions.

The operative paragraphs by action document is here [pdf].

The operative paragraphs side-by-side chart is here [pdf].

The preambular paragraphs document is here [pdf].

The flow chart of possible actions is here [pdf].

William New may be reached at wnew@ip-watch.ch.

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