Issue brief |

How a Global R&D Convention Could Fill the Gaps Left by Today's Medical Innovation System

More than a decade after the international medical humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) first called attention to the fatal imbalance in biomedical R&D, our field teams still grapple every day with the fact that the drugs, diagnostics and vaccines needed to treat patients are unavailable, unsuitable or unaffordable.

This is a direct consequence of today’s medical innovation system. Building on a decade-long process of analysis and deliberations, experts at the World Health Organization have now recommended that it is time to change the way medical research and development (R&D) is conducted, in order to address the needs of developing countries. Governments now have an opportunity to support this landmark recommendation and start negotiating a binding convention on biomedical R&D that could fill innovation gaps.

Read MSF's briefing document which explains why today's model of R&D is failing the needs of people in developing countries and outlines what a convention on health R&D could look like and its benefits. In addition, MSF calls for Member States to agree to begin a process for a binding agreement on R&D relevant to the health needs of developing countries at this year's World Health Assembly. 

Spanish (PDF)

French (PDF)

2-page summary version of briefing in English (PDF)