Joint Letter to the 66th World Health Assembly
Joint Letter to the 66th World Health Assembly: Follow-up of the report of the CEWG
On the opening of the 66th World Health Assembly, MSF along with other organisations and individuals, submitted a letter to the World Health Organization (WHO) and its Member States to "exercise leadership, ambition and innovative thinking in developing new paradigms to take forward the word of the Consultative Expert Working group on Research and Development (CEWG)".
We urge the World Health Organization (WHO) and its Member States to exercise leadership ambition and innovative thinking in developing new paradigms to take forward the work of the Consultative Expert Working Group on Research and Development: Financing and Coordination (CEWG) in reconciling the objectives of stimulating medical innovation and ensuring access for all.
At the open-ended meeting (26-28 November 2012) on the follow-up of the report of the CEWG, an outcome document containing a draft report and draft resolution was produced. This meeting was convened to provide Member States with the opportunity to develop a work plan for taking forward the recommendations of the CEWG report. This report was part of the implementation of the WHO’s Global Strategy and Plan of Action on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property (GSPOA). The objective of the GSPOA is to secure “an enhanced and sustainable basis for needsdriven, essential health research and development relevant to diseases that disproportionately affect developing countries”. The CEWG identified the concept of de-linkage as the over-arching principle in which to secure this objective by de-coupling the cost of R&D from the price of health technologies including medicines, vaccines and diagnostic tools. The central recommendation of the CEWG report that Member States were asked to consider was the development of a legally binding global convention to address the unmet R&D needs of developing countries.
Such a global framework is needed to establish a process for identifying R&D needs, setting priorities, monitoring R&D flows, coordinating R&D efforts, securing sustainable financing, promoting new incentives and managing research outputs in a way that ensures both innovation and access. Given the WHO’s role as the directing and co-ordinating authority in global public health and its constitutional mandate, it is uniquely placed to be the forum for such an instrument."