World Health Assembly: Drafting Group Agrees On Health R&D Meeting Proposal 25/05/2013 by Rachel Marusak Hermann, Intellectual Property Watch 1 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)An informal drafting group at the World Health Assembly finalised a draft text today, proposing to convene a technical meeting to help identify new health research and development projects for diseases that primarily affect poor communities. In the early afternoon on 25 May, a small drafting committee at the 66th World Health Assembly agreed on the language of a proposal to hold a 2-3 day technical consultative meeting to help identify health R&D demonstration projects in 2013. These projects are one of three action areas included in a draft resolution related to monitoring, coordination, and financing for health R&D and being discussed during this WHA. Key elements of the proposal, posted on the Knowledge Ecology International (KEI) website, are in regard to the constitution of the meeting participants and the focus of the work. On participants, the proposal suggests: The meeting will be open to all Member States.1 The Director-General shall invite experts from relevant health R&D fields and experts with experience in managing funds for research and development while safeguarding WHO and public health from undue influence by any form of real, perceived or potential conflicts of interest. The Director-General shall consult with Regional Directors in accordance with established WHO practice to ensure regional representation and diversity of expertise and experience. A delegate from a developed country told Intellectual Property Watch that in order to have an effective meeting, participants should have strong technical expertise and be familiar with research grants. Meanwhile, developing countries such as Bolivia, on behalf of UNASUR (the Union of South American Nations), expressed during Friday’s committee meeting that it was important to have civil society involvement. According to this proposal text, the director-general shall decide upon consultation with regional directors. On the scope and focus, the proposal suggests: to convene a technical consultative meeting over 2-3 days in order to assist in the identification of demonstration projects that: 1. address identified R&D gaps related to discovery, development and/or delivery, including promising product pipelines, for diseases that disproportionally affect developing countries, particularly the poor, and for which immediate action can be taken; 2. utilize collaborative approaches, including open-knowledge approaches, for R&D coordination; 3. promote the de-linkage of the cost of R&D from product price; and 4. propose and foster financing mechanisms including innovative, sustainable and pooled funding. According to several drafting group participants, the most contentious area of discussion on the scope and focus of this meeting was related to financing and funding (point 4 above), described by one delegate as the “greatest area of divergence” and another as a subject of “robust conversation.” In the version [pdf] of the proposal the group was working on this morning, point 4 read: “demonstrate voluntary and sustainable financing mechanism.” For some countries, including some members of UNASUR, deletion of the word “voluntary” was a win as was the addition of “innovative.” Some developed countries pushed back on language that could imply compulsory financing options, according to a source. A point reflected by a developed country delegate who told Intellectual Property Watch that finding sustainable financing “can take a long time.” The original proposal [pdf] was made by the US during committee discussions on the Follow-up of the report of the Consultative Expert Working Group on Research and Development: Financing and Coordination in committee on 24 May (IPW, WHO, 24 May 2013). This decision point will be further discussed in committee on Monday morning. 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 Rachel Marusak Hermann may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org."World Health Assembly: Drafting Group Agrees On Health R&D Meeting Proposal" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.