India, Ecuador, Peru Bring TRIPS Flexibilities Into WHO Universal Health Coverage Discussions 24/01/2019 by Catherine Saez, 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)Universal health coverage is a goal shared by all members of the World Health Organization. The ways to achieve that goal might however be based on different strategies. As members are working on a common resolution for the approval of the Executive Board of the organisation, and are contributing draft text, India brought up the intellectual property dimension by suggesting the text includes mention of the use of international trade rules flexibilities to protect public health. Delegates gather in the corridor outside the WHO Executive Board meeting today. As the 144th session World Health Organization Executive Board is opening today until 1 February, delegates are discussing draft resolutions to be adopted by the Board. One of those topics is universal health coverage (UHC), in the context of the preparation for the high-level meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on universal health coverage, later this year (IPW, WHO, 18 January 2019). The UHC issue is under agenda item 5.5 in the provisional agenda for the meeting. In a 22 January leaked draft resolution [pdf], India, as well as Ecuador, and Peru suggested to “promote increased access to affordable, safe, effective and quality medicines and diagnostics and other technologies, including by making use, to the fullest extent, of the TRIPS [World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights] flexibilities for the protection of public health and to achieve health for all.” The 22 January version follows a 16 January version [pdf] which did not mention TRIPS flexibilities. According to the 22 January document, the European Union, Switzerland, and the United States voiced some reservation at the suggestion of India, Ecuador, and Peru. India also suggested “to prioritize, as appropriate, the development, evaluation, implementation, scale up and greater utilization of digital technologies as a means of promoting equitable, affordable and universal access to health for all.” Separately, the EU, Uruguay, Switzerland, and India suggested a paragraph stating that “health is a major driver of economic growth and that current government mobilization and allocation of financial resources for health, especially in many low- and middle-income countries, is often not adequate for achieving universal health coverage and financial protection of the population. 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."India, Ecuador, Peru Bring TRIPS Flexibilities Into WHO Universal Health Coverage Discussions" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.