Call to create global R&D Framework
Nicoletta Dentico
Several initiatives will present the issue of extensive government support for a new global R&D framework at the World Health Assembly this May. These include the recent report of the Commission on Intellectual Property Rights, Innovation and Public Health (CIPIH) (see box p2), the Brazil-Kenya resolution on Essential Health R&D, and the handover of the R&D Appeal to Dr Lee Jong Wook, Director General WHO. DNDi believes that the time is right for the Appeal's call to become reality. We strongly hope that the world’s Health Ministers will devise novel mechanisms to develop and bring new drugs to the neglected. The governments of Kenya and Brazil jointly submitted a resolution to the WHO that could provide a unique opportunity to respond to the urgent health needs of neglected patients and change the way medical research is conducted today. Entitled “A Global Framework on Essential Health Research & Development”, the resolution is a response to the growing concern over current, inadequate global mechanisms that support the R&D of new medicines and other essential health technologies. It stems from Kenya and Brazil’s direct experience of the crippling national impact of an increasing percentage of people with no access to lifesaving medicines and health tools that are unaffordable and unavailable. In particular, the resolution emerged from the reality of a paucity of safe, adapted, and affordable new medicines, vaccines, and diagnostics for infectious diseases or other pathologies that primarily affect the world’s poor. The consequences of inefficiencies of the current R&D system to counter disability and death from preventable and controllable diseases are visible everywhere, but are undoubtedly dramatically harsher on patients living in poverty.
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