WTO, WHO, WIPO Symposium To Look At Innovative Technologies And UN SDGs 22/01/2018 by William New, 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)Three major international organisations in Geneva dealing with health, trade and intellectual property rights will come together next month to look at how innovative technologies can help to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals related to health. [Note: this article has been updated.] The World Trade Organization, World Health Organization and World Intellectual Property Organization will hold their seventh trilateral symposium on 26 February, this time at the WHO. Geneva aerial view, international Geneva is on the left bank looking up Lac Leman “The purpose of this symposium is to look at the challenges and opportunities regarding research and development of innovative technologies and to ensure access to them, the role that new partnerships and initiatives can play in support of the health-related SDGs, and to have new data that support governments in their evidence-based decision making,” Roger Kampf, counsellor in the WTO Intellectual Property Division, told Intellectual Property Watch. The event will open with remarks from the directors general of the three organisations. Then each agency will lead a panel on different topics. The WHO panel, entitled, “Global health data, disease burden and the challenges ahead,” will feature Mariângela Simão, newly appointed WHO assistant director-general for Drug Access, Vaccines and Pharmaceuticals, who came from UNAIDS and earlier was in the Brazilian government. She could share an analysis of the challenges that the international community is facing, based on Global Burden of Disease data gathered by WHO. Joining her will be Sarah Rickwood, vice president of IQVIA, formerly Qunitiles IMS Holdings, who is knowledgeable about data on pricing and trends, and the challenges of putting data together. The third panellist, Sherine Helmy, the CEO of Egyptian firm Pharco Pharmaceuticals, could talk about partnerships after his company concluded a licence agreement with the Medicines Patent Pool last year. Pharco has hepatitis C treatments in clinical trials in Malaysia and Thailand, now working with the Drugs for Neglected Disease initiative (DNDi). The second panel, led by WIPO, will feature WIPO Chief Economist Carsten Fink, who has, for instance, worked on the World Intellectual Property report from 2015 that focused on technology as a driver for breakthrough innovation and economic growth. WIPO studies released in 2015 and 2014 also looked into the grant of pharmaceutical patents in Chile and the impact of intellectual property on the pharmaceutical sector in Uruguay. Also on the panel will be Luiza Pinheiro, a student leader at Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM), who could talk about licensing to promote public health, and the social impact of research. The third speaker on the panel will be from industry, possibly from the biotech side, but has yet to be named. On the final panel, let by WTO, the three speakers will be: Margaret Kyle, professor of economics at the Center for Industrial Economics (CERNA), at Mines ParisTech; Kenneth Shadlen, professor of development studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science; and Daniel López Salcedo, Asesor Institucional de Despacho, National Public Procurement Service. Kyle works on data and may look at IP and the diffusion of new technologies, along the idea that soft licensing arrangements help bring medicines to market earlier. Shadlen was asked to talk about an analysis of secondary patents in Brazil, India and Argentina, and recently published a book on related topics (IPW, Inside Views, 11 January 2018). In a paper (note: copy can be requested) he co-authored with Bhaven Sampat of Columbia University, he showed that despite having taken restrictive measures, these do not seem to have been an obvious determinant for the number of secondary patents granted in these countries. He also found that the large backlog of patent applications might have a positive effect on filings in countries, as it may serve as a filter for companies to drop certain applications that have not been successful in other countries. López Salcedo, meanwhile, has been involved in Ecuador’s centralized e-procurement system for medicines, which has led to more transparency in proceedings, and has led to savings estimated at $15-20 million per month. The full WTO press release is reprinted below: Trilateral symposium to examine how innovative technologies can promote health-related SDGs The WTO, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) will convene a symposium on 26 February 2018 to discuss challenges and opportunities to ensure that innovative technologies are developed in order to realize the right to health and the health-related UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This joint technical symposium is the seventh in a series of joint technical symposia convened by the WHO, WIPO and the WTO. It builds on the collaborative work undertaken by the three agencies to enhance capacity, including the trilateral study on ‘Promoting Access to Medical Technologies and Innovation’. The purpose of this symposium is to provide a forum for an evidence-based exchange of views and experiences of various stakeholders and representatives of relevant sectors. Innovative, inclusive, and multi-stakeholder initiatives and partnerships that research, develop and facilitate access to novel, needs-based health technologies will be highlighted. The exchange will provide the basis for discussion and allow participants to achieve a better understanding of the benefits, drawbacks, and impact of the various available options. SDGs and health technologies The United Nations’ post-2015 Agenda for Sustainable Development sets out an ambitious plan for action: to reach and empower the most vulnerable and take action in areas of critical importance for humanity and the planet. The Sustainable Development Goals usher in a new era of global development that seeks to leave no one behind. Access to, and innovation in, health technologies is a requisite element for ensuring progress toward universal health coverage and achievement of the SDGs, namely SDG 3 Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. Scientific progress, advances in health technologies and improved trade have contributed to unprecedented improvements in health outcomes. However, gains in life expectancy and quality of life are unequally distributed between low-, middle-, and high-income countries. Troubling inequalities in the burden of disease are, in part, attributed to the disparate access to health technologies. As a fundamental human right, the right of everyone to enjoy the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health obliges governments to ensure appropriate access to essential medicines. Agenda and key issues Directors-General Tedros Adhanon Ghebreyesu (WHO), Francis Gurry (WIPO) and Roberto Azevêdo (WTO) will open the symposium, followed by three panel discussions. The first panel will focus on global health data, disease burden and the challenges ahead. A second panel will address technology as a driver of medical progress and access. The third panel will examine how policy choices impact on access to innovative technologies. The event is open to Geneva-based delegations to the WHO, WIPO and the WTO, representatives of international and philanthropic organizations, experts on intellectual property and trade, civil society organizations and interested individuals and organizations. Registration is open until 18 February. 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