CIPIH reminds governments
of ‘moral imperative’ towards neglected patients
The recently published report of the WHO Commission on Intellectual Property Rights, Innovation and Public Health (CIPIH) states that it is the ‘moral imperative’ of governments to set global health priorities and promote innovation. It recommends over 60 key actions needed to ensure that poor people in developing countries have access to existing and new products to diagnose, treat, and prevent the diseases which affect them most. The report recognises that the burden of infectious diseases disproportionately affecting developing countries continues to increase.
It states that the limited market cannot attract investment for innovation and that intellectual property rights are not an incentive in this area.
The progress so far, by different players and public-private-partnerships
to research and develop relevant health tools, is insufficient to change
the situation. “To assure their sustainability [of PDPs], and guarantee that medicines, vaccines, and diagnostics produced reach the people who are in need of them, additional efforts are needed. Much more needs to be done to increase the funds available on a sustainable basis and Governments have the major responsibility to mobilize funds and promote new financing and incentive mechanisms to meet our shared goals,” Ruth Dreifuss Former Swiss President and chairperson of CIPIH. As a first step, the report recommends the creation of a new, sustainable, global framework for R&D. A resolution based on the report has been submitted to the WHA in May 2006 for further discussion. Report available at
CIPIH Report Recommends a Global Plan of Action
The Commission’s recommendations focus on discovery, development, and delivery of innovation, as well as ways to foster innovation in developing countries and increase the role of the WHO in the pursuit of these objectives. The report concludes that it is in the interest of all countries to promote health research that addresses the health needs of developing countries and to set specific and measurable targets in this regard. A selection of recommendations is listed below:
2.1 Governments of developed countries should … seek to define explicit strategies for R&D and devote a growing proportion of their total health R&D funding to the health needs of developing countries, with an emphasis on upstream and translational research.
2.3. Government and funder attention should be paid to upstream research that enables and supports the acquisition of new knowledge and technologies that will facilitate the development of new products, including drugs, vaccines, and diagnostic tests to tackle health problems of developing countries.
2.5 Actions should be taken by WHO to find ways to make compound libraries more accessible to identify potential compounds to address Type III [neglected] diseases…
2.7 Countries should seek through patenting and licensing policies to maximize the availability of innovations, including research tools and platform technologies, for the development of products of relevance to public health, particularly to conditions prevalent in developing countries…
2.8 Patent pools of upstream technologies may be useful in some circumstances to promote innovation relevant to developing countries…
3.4 Further efforts should be made to strengthen the clinical trials and regulatory infrastructure in developing countries...
The Report also recommends that the WHO develops a Global Plan of Action to secure enhanced and sustainable funding for developing and making accessible products to address diseases that disproportionately affect developing countries.
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Editor: Jaya Banerji - Tel: +41 22 906 9230 - Fax: +41 22 906 9231 - www.dndi.org