Knowledge Ecology International
The WHO Road Map should guide the organization’s assessment of incentives and funding mechanisms for research and development to stimulate the development of new drugs, vaccines, diagnostics and new gene and cell-based therapies.
In the current document (EB/144/17), we welcome the proposals to enhance the transparency of R&D costs and the development of incentive mechanisms that delink the costs of R&D from the prices of health technologies, and look forward to more concrete actions to achieve both.
It is time to re-evaluate the notion that governments can effectively regulate drug monopolies in the public interest. And if, and KEI suggests since, the contrary is true, we need to explore and then implement new incentives for R&D investments that are not tied to monopolies and high prices.
The reform of pricing and R&D incentives should be based upon accurate empirical evidence of the economics of drug development, including product-specific costs by stages of development, global resource flows for R&D by sources and targets, and pricing and revenues from sales of specific products and services.
We have been disappointed with the slow and unfocused implementation of the WHO R&D Observatory. The WHO should connect Observatory staff with members of the public working on reforms of biomedical innovation pricing and R&D incentives, to give this project more direction.
Finally, the WHO should develop a manual on the control of and remedies to excessive pricing by December 2020. The manual should describe the context-specific methodologies employed by Member States for determining if prices are excessive, and the mechanisms to remedy and control pricing abuses.