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IP-Watch Interns Summer 2013

IP-Watch interns Brittany Ngo (Yale Graduate School of Public Health) and Caitlin McGivern (University of Law, London) talk about their Geneva experience in summer 2013. 2:42.

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    Successful WHO Drug Prequalification Programme Deemed At Risk

    Published on 16 January 2014 @ 4:52 pm

    Intellectual Property Watch

    A 12-year-old World Health Organization programme for prequalifying medical products has helped international organisations and others to safely purchase billions of US dollars’ worth of quality medicines per year, but now is at risk due to funding shortages, a new study released today found.

    The academic study published in the Journal of Public Health Policy, was written by four international public health experts and calls for more sustainable funding by urging governments and private donors to contribute. Among the authors is Ellen ‘t Hoen, a consultant who is well-known in policy circles for her work as past head of the Medicines Patent Pool and at Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF, Doctors without Borders).

    The WHO Prequalification Programme “helps ensure that these medicines meet acceptable standards of quality, safety and efficacy,” according to a press release promoting the study.

    “We have found that this programme is effective, and saves money both directly and indirectly,” ‘t Hoen said in the release. “Every dollar invested in the programme saves $170 in public medicine procurement. But 80-90% of the organisation’s funding comes from just two organisations – UNITAID and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF).”

    She said there is a need for a “consortium of public and private global health donors to create a sustainable funding model and ensure that the medicines we distribute in developing countries work.”

    Since 2000, the programme has expanded from low-cost generics to cover: Essential medicines for reproductive health, diarrhoea, and neglected tropical diseases: quality control laboratories; active pharmaceutical ingredients; review of clinical research used to prove that generic medicines are as good as the branded versions; and capacity of medicines regulators and pharmaceutical manufacturers in developing countries of Africa and Asia, the release said.

     

    Comments

    1. Riaz Tayob says:

      With so much of WHOs budget outside member control (only 20% is) should we be surprised that less profitable areas of its role are starved of funds? Rich countries do not want global health under member control so priorities can be set for the longer term. Anything that affects corporate profits is earmarked for being made to look inept through underfunding. This applies to flu vaccines (not even a false pandemic is enough to wake Europeans up, despite all the hot air from the Council of Europe and expropriation of poor countries biodiversity), rational use of medicines (even though we are sitting on a time bomb – but cheap chicken is more important than antimicrobial resistance), access to medicines (WHO defers to WTO, despite knowing about legal rights to copy in cases of public need) and also on obesity (which corporations do not like so do not want labeling or control, not even marketing to children). Efforts are being made to change things by improving access to WHO and participation, but this seems like a legitimacy garnering exercise rather than addressing evidence based shortcomings in governance related to relevance. Without meaningful change, what is clear is that health equity measures at WHO will face incremental debasement, and increasingly lack of of legitimacy.


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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.

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