Statement |

WHO 146th EB - 10 (EB146/11) – Ending tuberculosis

Manuel Martin
Medical Innovation & Access Policy Advisor
MSF Access Campaign

MSF Statement: Agenda item 10 (EB146/11) – Ending tuberculosis

WHO Executive Board's Special Session on EbolaUN Photo/Christopher Black

Speaker: Manuel Martin

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), one of the largest non-governmental providers of drug-resistant-TB treatment, welcomes the recommendations of the ‘Draft global strategy for TB research and innovation.’ The strategy highlights challenges and strategies for overcoming barriers in research and development (R&D) for much-needed tools to diagnose, prevent and treat TB and its drug-resistant forms, including ensuring equitable access to the benefits of R&D.

High prices remain a primary barrier to TB treatment. When setting the price of any product resulting from a collective R&D effort, we call for the public, non-profit and philanthropic investments and contributions that went into its development to be considered. This is particularly pertinent for TB, where public and non-profit researchers and treatment providers, supported by public and philanthropic donors, have taken a leading role in R&D efforts. We would like to see the WHO Secretariat foster and support member state-led initiatives in TB R&D, such as the BRICS TB R&D Network, and assist the development of robust policies to overcome the access barriers highlighted in the strategy.

MSF welcomes increased efforts to create an enabling regulatory environment for TB R&D, which must include ensuring the generation of sufficient and appropriate efficacy and safety data to guide clinical practice.

In addition to substantially increasing R&D investments in TB, member states must ensure all investments are transparent and in line with global TB needs, avoid the creation and use of monopolies, and govern publicly funded R&D as a shared responsibility in the public interest.

MSF urges member states and donors to make substantial improvements in support and funding for TB R&D in order to equitably deliver TB tools that are effective, affordable and suitable.