Knowledge Ecology International

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Meeting: 
144th session of the Executive Board<br>24 January - 1 February 2019
Agenda Item: 
5.5.3 Preparation for the high-level meeting of the General Assembly on universal health coverage
Statement: 

As WHO and the United Nations family prepare for the high-level meeting of the United Nations Assembly on Universal Health Coverage, we call upon the WHO to address universal access to new medical technologies, such as new drugs, vaccines, diagnostic tests, and emerging cell and gene-based therapies.

Society correctly values innovation and private investments in R&D for advances in biomedical technologies.

To make biomedical technologies accessible to everyone, it is important to develop new approaches to investment incentives that do not rely up the grant of a temporary monopoly or high prices.

We recognize that transformative changes in the business models for biomedical innovation are daunting, and may seem impossible in the near term. But governments can progressively implement delinkage right now, by establishing and progressively expanding non-price incentives for biomedical innovation, such as market entry rewards, while progressively lowering prices and making access more equal.

The great disparities in access to drugs for cancer and even greater disparities in access to new cell and gene-based therapies cannot be overcome with the current reliance on monopoly based incentives. Therefore UHC requires reform of incentives, if people are serious about universal coverage and access.

There should also be new global norms on transparency of every aspect of health systems.

We also support language, “stressing the important role the international specialized agencies of the United Nations can play in enabling the member states to make full use of TRIPS agreement as a fundamental component of achieving [a]ccess to health, safe and affordable medicines,” and in providing technical assistance on progressive delinkage of incentives to invest in R&D.