World Health Assembly Begins Discussion On Access To Medicines 22/05/2018 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)On the second day of this week’s annual World Health Assembly, delegates began discussing the issue of “shortages of, and access to, medicines and vaccines.” It is generally held that access to safe, efficacious, and affordable medicines is of paramount importance to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, but there seems to be no expeditious solution, and no lack of divergent views on how to get there. World Health Assembly Committee A meeting World Health Organization delegates gathered for the 71th World Health Assembly taking place from 19-26 May are asked to back a decision adopted at the January WHO Executive Board meeting (EB 142(3)). The decision [pdf] requests that the WHO elaborate “a roadmap report, in consultation with Member States, outlining the programming of WHO’s work on access to medicines and vaccines, including activities, actions and deliverables for the period 2019−2023,” and to submit this roadmap at the next annual Assembly. A number of countries took the floor today to support the WHA adoption of the Board’s decision. Increasingly, the classical divide between high and low-income countries is blurring as high prices of medicines, vaccines, and medical products, as well as stockouts of medicines have become a global issue not sparing developed countries. Some developed countries talked about topics such as the importance of transparency in pricing, research and development, and production costs, and on the fact that most research comes out of publicly-funded institutions. The United States, however, advised keeping compulsory licensing to exceptional circumstances, and said the WHO roadmap to be developed should take into account the fact that the burden of medical research and development is borne by a handful of countries, specifically by the US. More reporting on the discussion will follow soon on Intellectual Property Watch. Image Credits: Catherine Saez 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."World Health Assembly Begins Discussion On Access To Medicines" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.