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Board Debates Medicines Access; WHO Asserts Mandate On IP, Trade Issues

Shortages, faulty supply chains, unbearable prices, weak health systems - the issue of access to medicines is multifaceted and gave way to a long list of interventions yesterday at the World Health Organization. Challenged on its mandate to address intellectual property and trade issues, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Gheyebresus (Dr Tedros) confirmed that WHO’s mandate includes work with partners on those issues. Discussions also included fair pricing and transparency, for which Italy called for a resolution at the next World Health Assembly.

Industry News

WHO Member States Call For Transparency, Access To Innovation On Cancer Drug Pricing

A substantive discussion took place at the World Health Organization Executive Board meeting yesterday in response to a recently released WHO report on cancer drug pricing. Among the variety of perspectives expressed, many formed consensus in calling for increased transparency of research and development (R&D) costs and equitable access to innovative cancer drugs.

Industry News

WHO Holds Discussions On Roadmap For Improving Access To Medicines

Unaffordable prices, unavailable medicines, a rising need for accessible noncommunicable diseases treatments – these set the stage as the World Health Organization Executive Board started discussion today on one of the more contentious issues of the week. For the Board’s approval is in particular a roadmap and action plan including a dual strategy based on safety and efficacy of health products, and their affordability.

Industry News

DNDi, MMV Make 400 Compounds Available To Boost Pandemic Disease Research

The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) and Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) today announced the launch of the “Pandemic Response Box”, which offers researchers open access to 400 compounds that could lead to development of new treatments for pandemic diseases. In return, researchers “will be expected to share data resulting from research on the […]

Industry News

Measuring Outputs Seen As Key To WHO Transformation

Measurable outputs are a key element of the World Health Organization transformation and its “triple billion” target. Last week, WHO Executive Board discussed the Impact Framework, a key measurement system. Board members asked clarifications on indicators and underlined the challenge of data collection in many countries. A consultation with country experts is expected to be held before the May World Health Assembly.

Industry News

WHO Draft Resolution On Universal Health Coverage Shows Efforts At Consensus

With half the world’s population still lacking access to essential health services, World Health Organization Executive Board members this week are working to agree on a resolution indicating ways through which this situation can be alleviated. Discussions are going on outside plenary room as delegates seek agreement on a draft resolution.

Industry News

Inside Views: WHO’s Access Roadmap And The Art Of Accommodation Of Pharma Interest

The Roadmap to access to medicines, vaccines and other health products (Roadmap) to be discussed at this week's 144th session of WHO’s Executive Board accommodates vital interest of pharmaceutical TNCs on critical issues such as the approach to access, technical assistance on the use of TRIPS flexibilities and access to biosimilars.

Adoption of the Roadmap in its current form very well accommodates the interest of the Pharmaceutical TNCs and therefore one need not expect any proactive steps by WHO towards promoting access after the adoption of the Roadmap.

Industry News

Open Access Advocates See End Of US Copyright Term Extension Act As Win For Commons

Open access advocates in the United States are celebrating the expiration, and non-renewal, of the Copyright Term Extension Act, which introduces into the public domain all works from 1923, and signals an end of the practice by US lawmakers to continually extend the terms of copyright protection.

Leading figures from groups such as Creative Commons and Wikimedia Foundation gathered to discuss why this shift in policy took place, and what it means for the public domain. They asserted that this change is the result of a general acceptance of the value of “the commons,” brought on in part by the era of the internet.

Industry News

India, Ecuador, Peru Bring TRIPS Flexibilities Into WHO Universal Health Coverage Discussions

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.

Industry News

Inside Views: US Complaints About Technology Transfer In China: Negotiating The Endgame

Dean Pinkert writes: The United States Trade Representative (USTR) has been open about its view of the difficulties faced by US companies who claim – generally anonymously – that they have been forced to transfer technology to Chinese entities: “The fact that China systematically implements its technology transfer regime in informal and indirect ways makes it ‘just as effective [as written requirements], but almost impossible to prosecute.’” As I explain in this article, I believe such informality is not merely a barrier to prosecutions; it also presents conceptual challenges for US trade negotiators as they attempt to craft effective means to address the concerns of US companies doing business in China.

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