Stichting Health Action International

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144th session of the Executive Board<br>24 January - 1 February 2019
Agenda Item: 
5.7.1 Access to medicines and vaccines

HAI welcomes the opportunity to address this session of the Executive Board and contribute to the roadmap for access to medicines,vaccines and other health products.
As we said during the informal discussions,we acknowledge the Secretariat’s effort to compile relevant resolutions,including the GSPOA on Public Health,Innovation and Intellectual Property,within the framework of GPW13;poor access to medicines remains a problem,threatening the life and well-being to many.
Through our work on different facets of the access to medicines continuum, be it in connection to neglected tropical diseases,like snakebite envenoming and access to insulin,or to promoting the use of intellectual property tools to achieve public health goals,we bear daily witness to most of the concerns acknowledged in the document,including increasingly unaffordable prices, limited availability,lack of unbiased information,or misalignment between R&D ambitions and real health needs.
We endorse evidence-based interventions,including HTA,as part of the actions by national authorities to improve access to appropriate medicines,more should be done to ensure and enforce transparency, especially in relation to pricing, procurement and reimbursement decisions.Transparency ensures accountability and is an indispensable component of the good governance of medicines.This not only applies to governments,but also intergovernmental organisations the private sector and civil society.Public-private partnerships,in which WHO participates,even as an observer,would be no exception.
We note with satisfaction that the document acknowledges the mandate of the GSPOA to address the excesses of IP protection through the use of flexibilities and other compensatory mechanisms.An increasing number of countries are making use of such instruments to counter excessive medicine pricing,despite unilateral pressures by some governments to desist.
We remain committed to contributing to this dialogue.