Knowledge Ecology Interntional statement on adoption of WHO resolution "Public health, innovation and intellectual property."

Thiru Balasubramaniam
May 23, 2007

The 60th World Health Assembly is taking another important step to change the way the WHO and Member States deal with innovation and access.

The World Health Assembly adopted language that requests the WHO Director-General Margaret Chan to encourage the development of proposals for health-needs driven R&D, including those "addressing the linkage between paying for the cost of R&D and the prices" of medicines, vaccines, diagnostic tools and other health care products.

A number of NGOs, academic experts and country negotiators (including Brazil, Chile, Canada and Norway) say that separating the price of pharmaceuticals from the systems for paying for R&D can lead to more equitable health care outcomes, and less rationing of medicines.

The African Group, the European Union and Switzerland played a constructive role in these debates. We acknowledge the mediating role of the Namibian chair and the aforementioned delegations in resurrecting the spirit of Geneva and clearing the path forward for the WHO IGWG to develop new systems for paying for R&D that are not linked to the prices of medicines. Examples of such approaches are direct government funding of research, and rewards like prizes, that operate independent from drug prices."

For more information please contact:

James Love
1 202 361 3040

Thiru Balasubramaniam
41 76 508 0997

Spring Gombe
41 78 842 5180

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