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IP-Watch Summer Interns

IP-Watch interns talk about their Geneva experience in summer 2013. 2:42.

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    UNICEF Supply Annual Report Highlights Medical Products Access, Innovation

    Published on 21 June 2013 @ 12:54 pm

    By for Intellectual Property Watch

    In its recently released Supply Annual Report for 2012, the United Nations agency UNICEF assessed its programme work in developing and strengthening supply chains, in hopes of achieving equitable access to life-saving supplies for children and women. The report found that UNICEF procured supplies and services valued at $2.468 billion, with India being the largest supplier country to UNICEF in 2012. 

    The report [pdf] covers: supply chain optimisation and strengthening; access to vaccines in middle-income countries; supply emergency response; product and technical innovation; and savings potential of bednets, vaccines, antiretrovirals (ARVs), and ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF).

    UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Education Fund, states that its newly introduced tools, approaches, and technical capacities will optimise its supply chain activities. In partnership with governments and other stakeholders, UNICEF reports improvements to “key interfaces and dependencies, testing temperature-controlled sea shipments, streamlining packaging and deliveries, using text messages to warn of temperature breaches along the cold chain, improving the traceability and monitoring of products via barcoding and strategic tendering for local transport provision to realise these goals.”

    Access to vaccines in middle-income countries was a primary goal for UNICEF in 2012. The report cites affordable prices, effective cold-chain infrastructure, and government commitment as requirements for improved vaccine access. In 2012, UNICEF collaborated with governments, donors, and suppliers to develop and implement a procurement strategy for middle-income countries to assure sustained supply of vaccines and more equitable pricing.

    In 2012, UNICEF launched its innovation website which serves as a platform for engaging external partners in the fund’s innovation work, hoping to help identify fresh ideas and solutions. The report reviews the status of major product and technological innovations including phase-change material to overcome freezing vaccines, an improved pneumonia detection device, and web-based vaccine stock level monitoring.

    The report highlights a need to innovate for improved pneumonia diagnostics because “pneumonia is the leading cause of death in children worldwide, killing an estimated 1.2 million children under 5 each year.” UNICEF says that vaccines for haemophilus influenzae type b, pneumococcus, measles, and whooping cough (pertussis) would be “the most effective way to prevent pneumonia, and antibiotics in the right formulations can treat the disease, while diagnostic tools help with early detection.”

    UNICEF established an Innovation Review Board (IRB) in 2012 to further refine the process for submitting and launching an innovation project, and to better support staff from across the organisation to identify, develop and implement innovations in line with UNICEF’s priority areas for improving the lives of children and women. The IRB provides guidance and direction to project leads, and helps track each innovation initiative throughout the project lifecycle.

    Looking to the future, UNICEF says it is “entering a period where ‘seeing’ supply chains through the last mile is becoming a reality,” referring to the proliferation of mobile devices, network coverage, and other rapid advancements in communication technology.

    Taking advantage of the 2012 roll-out of a global emergency preparedness response (ERP) system, UNICEF says it is “now in a position to match core supply data with vital inputs from a variety of partners, providers and users, each one making use of new technology.”

    UNICEF and its partners plan to create a supply chain information network over the next five years that will increase transparency, improve efficiency, and capture feedback from the communities served through its programmes.

    UNICEF concludes that the capacity to secure savings “will depend on its strategic, evidence-based procurement decisions, innovative financing and on partnerships that contribute to creating healthy markets.”

    In 2012, procurement strategies and innovative financing mechanisms generated a reported savings of more than US$ 197 million, and UNICEF expects that the fund and its partners “will continue to generate savings and value for money in the years ahead,” with a minimum of US$ 810 million in projected savings over the next five years.

    Brittany Ngo is currently completing her Master’s in Health Policy and Global Health at the Yale School of Public Health and previously obtained a Bachelor’s of Arts in Economics from Georgetown University. Through her studies she has developed an interest in health-related intellectual property issues. She is a summer intern at Intellectual Property Watch.

    Brittany Ngo may be reached at info@ip-watch.ch.

     


    Leave a Reply

    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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