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    International Instrument On Medical R&D Still On Negotiating Table At WHO

    Published on 28 November 2012 @ 2:03 am

    By for Intellectual Property Watch

    World Health Organization member states gathering this week at the WHO headquarters in a meeting to address global gaps in the drug development system said that there is still much work to be done before consensus can be reached on a resolution. For now, the latest draft resolution keeps a wide range of monitoring, coordinating, and financing options on the table, not yet setting a clear direction.

    By the end of day two of the open-ended meeting on the follow-up of the report of the Consultative Expert Working Group on Research and Development: Financing and Coordination (CEWG), at least two versions of a draft proposal on elements of a draft resolution have circulated, the latest of which is available here [pdf].

    As agreed during the 65th World Health Assembly last May, WHO member states are meeting from 26-28 November to examine the CEWG report, the feasibility of its recommendations, and to develop proposals or options related to research coordination, financing, and the monitoring of R&D expenditures.

    The meeting public documents are available here.

    In the latest draft resolution, the possibility of a binding convention on medical research and development, which was the CEWG report’s main recommendation and an area of debate during these negotiations, remains open.

    [OP1 proposed by Iran - Decides to establish a Global Health R&D Monitoring, Coordination and Financing Action Framework, as an initial step towards the development of effective, safe, quality, suitable and affordable health technologies that existing market mechanisms and public policies fail to deliver]”

    “OP2 URGES Member States: …

    [to work further with the objective of elaborating an international instrument on R&D related to Type II and Type III diseases and the specific R&D needs of developing countries in relation to Type I diseases that incorporates actions on monitoring, coordination and financing without prejudice of the legal nature of the resulting instrument]”

    “OP3 REQUESTS the Director-General: …

    [To convene an intergovernmental working group open to all Member States to identify the
    objectives and components of an instrument without prejudice to its legal nature, on monitoring, coordination and financing of health R&D related to Type II and III diseases and the special R&D needs of developing countries in relation to Type I diseases]

    These passages were not included in an earlier version of the draft resolution, available here [pdf].

    In reaction to this earlier version, a delegate from a middle-income country commented, “this draft does not accurately reflect the conversation over the past two days.” The delegate said that there was a clear divide between countries in favour of a binding convention and those in support of a voluntary commitment approach.

    During opening statements, Thailand and Colombia expressed strong backing of an R&D treaty, according to sources.

    Some high-income countries, including the United States and those in the European Union, called for a more incremental approach. For example, in terms of research coordination, the EU suggested a pilot process [pdf], which would focus on “2-3 distinct diseases or health conditions” as a starting point. It also called for the creation of a “virtual multi stakeholder platform (including funders and implementers for sharing and harmonisation and alignment of research challenges and financing.”

    Non-governmental organisations (NGOs), including Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF, Doctors Without Borders), the Third World Network, and Knowledge Ecology International (KEI), present in the halls outside of the closed-door WHO meeting, called for member states to take decisive action.

    Michelle Childs, director of policy and advocacy at MSF’s Access Campaign, told Intellectual Property Watch, “The question is whether tomorrow is the dawn of a new day, or a familiar one, where there are stop-gap measures. What we are most concerned about is that they will miss the opportunity to fix this problem rather than put a band-aid on it.”

    [Updated] James Love, director of KEI, underscored the opportunity to advance innovative R&D incentive schemes by, for example, delinking associated costs from the price of medicines. According to sources, delinkage may be included in the preamble which should be added in the next draft.

    Over 60 NGOs submitted an open letter [pdf] on the follow-up of the CEWG report, which was delivered by Health Action International (HAI) and KEI during the first morning session. WHO observers, additional NGOs, and at least one group from the private sector, the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA), were permitted to attend the first morning session. IFPMA’s statement is available here. [pdf]

    Viroj Tangcharoensathien of Thailand is chairing the meeting and will hold an open briefing session on the outcomes on 29 November.

    Rachel Marusak Hermann may be reached at info@ip-watch.org.

     

    Comments

    1. Stories in Thursday's edition says:

      [...] International Instrument On Medical R&D Still On Negotiating Table At WHO What we are most concerned about is that they will miss the opportunity to fix this problem rather than put a band-aid on it.” [Updated] James Love, director of KEI, underscored the opportunity to advance innovative R&D incentive schemes by, for … Read more on Intellectual Property Watch [...]


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    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website. By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website.

    By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    1. You agree that you are fully responsible for the content that you post. You will not knowingly post content that violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property right of any third party or which you know is under a confidentiality obligation preventing its publication and that you will request removal of the same should you discover that you have violated this provision. Likewise, you may not post content that is libelous, defamatory, obscene, abusive, that violates a third party's right to privacy, that otherwise violates any applicable local, state, national or international law, that amounts to spamming or that is otherwise inappropriate. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual preference, disability or other classification. Epithets and other language intended to intimidate or to incite violence are also prohibited. Furthermore, you may not impersonate others.

    2. You understand and agree that Intellectual Property Watch is not responsible for any content posted by you or third parties. You further understand that IP Watch does not monitor the content posted. Nevertheless, IP Watch may monitor the any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove, edit or otherwise alter content that it deems inappropriate for any reason whatever without consent nor notice. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on our site. IP Watch is not in any manner endorsing the content of the discussion forums and cannot and will not vouch for its reliability or otherwise accept liability for it.

    3. By submitting any contribution to IP Watch, you warrant that your contribution is your own original work and that you have the right to make it available to IP Watch for all purposes and you agree to indemnify IP Watch, its directors, employees and agents against all damages, legal fees and others expenses that may be incurred by IP Watch as a result of your breach of warranty or of these terms.

    4. You further agree not to publish any personal information about yourself or anyone else (for example telephone number or home address). If you add a comment to a blog, be aware that your email address will be apparent.

    5. IP Watch will not be liable for any loss including but not limited to the following (whether such losses are foreseen, known or otherwise): loss of data, loss of revenue or anticipated profit, loss of business, loss of opportunity, loss of goodwill or injury to reputation, losses suffered by third parties, any indirect, consequential or exemplary damages.

    6. You understand and agree that the discussion forums are to be used only for non-commercial purposes. You may not solicit funds, promote commercial entities or otherwise engage in commercial activity in our discussion forums.

    7. You acknowledge and agree that you use and/or rely on any information obtained through the discussion forums at your own risk.

    8. For any content that you post, you hereby grant to IP Watch the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, exclusive and fully sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part, world-wide and to incorporate it in other works, in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

    9. These terms and your posts and contributions shall be governed and interpreted in accordance with the laws of Switzerland (without giving effect to conflict of laws principles thereof) and any dispute exclusively settled by the Courts of the Canton of Geneva.

     

     
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