Joint submission: Consideration of an Essential Health and Biomedical R&D Treaty
Within the discussions currently going on at the World Health Organization, several developing countries have called for a global R&D treaty. Such a treaty is essentially a mechanism to ensure greater, more sustainable funding for essential health R&D. It would ensure that all governments contribute to paying for medical innovation, and would guarantee that the medical tools- vaccines, drugs, diagnostics- developed were accessible and affordable.
As the current political discussions at the WHO for an alternative R&D framework move forward, MSF along with Health Action International Global, the Initiative for Health & Equity in Society, Knowledge Ecology International and Third World Network (TWN) have put forward a proposal to the Expert Group on R&D coordination and financing calling on them to examine the R&D treaty proposal made by several developing countries and to recommend that member states start negotiations to draw up an essential health and biomedical R&D treaty.
Countries and companies need to engage constructively in this effort to explore new ways to reward investments into R&D that are not biased against the world’s poor. With an increasing number of patent disputes breaking out across the globe, and increasing governmental concern that the current system is failing to deliver, it is in everyone’s interest that new mechanisms are found, and soon.