In 21st Century No One Should Die For Lack Of Access To Medicines, Participants At UN Forum Say

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Last week’s 2015 Social Forum led by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) called for urgent action to facilitate access to medicines. In particular, the functioning of the intellectual property system was put into question. A number of recommendations were drawn by the secretariat after having been identified by participants.

TRIPS In Question During Social Forum Discussion On Access To Medicines

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Intellectual property rights are hindering access to medicines by maintaining monopolies and high prices, according to speakers at an annual United Nations forum on human rights last week. Flexibilities enshrined in the World Trade Organization intellectual property agreement are hampered by political and economical pressure, they said, and a new system should be devised for pharmaceutical products.

WHO Board Recommends Extension Of Plan For Health Innovation, IP

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The World Health Organization Executive Board this week recommended the extension of an important strategy and plan of action on health, IP and innovation. It also set out steps to resolve questions over evaluation and review of the strategy and plan of action before the annual World Health Assembly in May.

WHO Sets Path For Completing Rules Of Engagement With Industry, Foundations

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The World Health Organization Executive Board has set a way forward from now to the annual May World Health Assembly for addressing the sensitive issue of drafting a framework for engagement with “non-state actors,” such as industry, foundations, academics and other non-governmental stakeholders.

WHO Still Finding Its Way On Financing R&D For Diseases Affecting Poor Countries

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In search of sustainable innovation models for cures for diseases affecting primarily developing countries, with the Ebola epidemic as a new reminder of the necessity and urgency of the matter, the World Health Organization had tasked an expert working group with the search for solutions. Last week, the WHO Executive Board took note of the progress made so far.

IP Rights Must Remain Distinct From Fake Medicines Policy At WHO, Members Warn

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Intellectual property issues emerged at the World Health Organization Executive Board today as members discussed fake and substandard medicines, with some countries saying that the fight against such medicines should not serve as a pretext to enforce intellectual property rights and prevent access to safe generic medicines.

Anti-Microbial Resistance, Budget, Reform Raise Debate At WHO Executive Board

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The World Health Organization Executive Board this week has addressed the relationship between the UN agency and its funders and lobbyists, examined the budget for the next biennium, and looked at the issue of the growing resistance of bacteria to antibiotics. Image Credits: Flickr – NIAID

Gavi Receives Record-Breaking Financial Pledges For Vaccines

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Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, boasted success this week as its biennial replenishment conference attracted US$ 7.5 billion in pledges, which is the organisation said is expected to allow 300 million additional children to be vaccinated in poor countries. The vaccine industry pledged support for “strong” immunisation programmes, while public health advocates called for significant price […]

New Proposal To Extend WHO Action Plan On Innovation, IP Rights

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At the World Health Organization Executive Board today, a group of countries tabled a proposal to extend the WHO plan of action on public health, innovation and intellectual property until 2022. Yesterday, the Executive Board took note of the Global Vaccine Action Plan while some countries remarked on issues of affordability and accessibility. And today, one of the key discussions of the week – on the engagement of WHO with lobbyists, donors, and other interested non-governmental parties – has begun.

Ebola, Reform High On WHO Executive Board Agenda This Week

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The World Health Organization Executive Board yesterday adopted a resolution on Ebola, on the eve of today’s opening of its 10-day meeting addressing a broad range of health issues, including several of relevance to the intellectual property and innovation community. Today, Italy requested that member states be involved in the setting of WHO guidelines, raising governance issues, while WHO Director General Margaret Chan called for strong health systems and reform to the WHO structure, and asked for room to move on WHO relations with industry.