WHO To Study Effect Of Nagoya Protocol On Sharing Of Genetic Materials 26/01/2016 by Catherine Saez, Intellectual Property Watch Leave a Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The implementation of a protocol ensuring access to genetic resources and the fair and equitable benefit-sharing of commercial benefits might affect the sharing of pathogens samples between countries, said the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, who asked the World Health Organization to study possible implications of the protocol’s implementation. The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity entered into force on 12 October 2014. On the first day of the WHO Executive Board (EB) meeting, taking place from 25-30 January, the United Kingdom, also speaking on behalf of the Netherlands, said they “have been alerted by questions from the public health community and actually from many countries that the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol might affect the sharing of pathogens samples around the world.” Both countries asked that the WHO secretariat undertake an analysis of how the Nagoya Protocol might affect the sharing of pathogens and relevant public health implications, and that a report be provided to member states. The request met no objections and the EB appeared to agree to have the secretariat do the study, to be delivered at the EB meeting in 2017. At press time, the secretariat had not provided information on how the analysis might be conducted and by whom. [Update: the secretariat has confirmed that the study deadline is the EB in January 2017, and that there are not yet terms of reference for the study.] The UK representative said the implication of the Nagoya Protocol implementation is a matter of direct relevance to the WHO International Health Regulations, “given its all hazards approach.” The UK is party to the Nagoya Protocol, she said, and “strongly support its objectives of a fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources. But we want to be sure we can continue to share pathogens samples with other countries as we currently do.” “It’s not the protocol that’s the issue,” she said, as the potential problems arising from the Nagoya Protocol “may be solved by appropriate implementation of the protocol by countries.” “We want everyone to be able to benefit from the outcome of sharing pathogens whether it is a new vaccine, a new diagnostic tool, or importantly a better understanding of the recurrence of microbial resistance,” she said. PIP Framework as Example The success of the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (PIP) Framework for the sharing of influenza viruses and access to vaccines and other benefits “may serve as an example of a pragmatic approach to addressing” the issue, she said. The inclusion of pathogens in the Nagoya Protocol was heatedly debated in the discussions leading to the 2010 adoption of the instrument. Pathogens are mentioned in the protocol’s preamble, stating that members are “Mindful of the International Health Regulations (2005) of the World Health Organization and the importance of ensuring access to human pathogens for public health preparedness and response purposes.” The Nagoya Protocol now has [pdf] 70 ratifications. Image Credits: Flickr – Sanofi Pasteur Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related Catherine Saez may be reached at email@example.com."WHO To Study Effect Of Nagoya Protocol On Sharing Of Genetic Materials" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.