Stichting Health Action International

Printer-friendly version
144th session of the Executive Board<br>24 January - 1 February 2019
Agenda Item: 
5.7.2 Cancer medicines

Stichting Health Action International appreciates this opportunity to address the Executive Board regarding the report on cancer medicines,linked to the pursuit of Resolution WHA70.12.We commend the Secretariat for the development of this thorough and informative document.
As with other NCDs,availability and affordability of cancer treatments are variable, depending economic and social inequalities should never be the determining factor in access to medicines.
High prices of oncology treatments-a growing challenge for all WHO Member States-and if they aren’t they will be-is often justified by R&D investments, which cannot be independently verified.
There will be no accountability for excessive price setting without greater transparency. National authorities should guarantee that all information related to the R&D of a given product,including clinical trials and production costs,be accessed by a regulatory entity before market authorization is granted.
Wide use of intellectual property (IP) protection measures, such as patents and other IP-incentives, allow for extended monopolies that combined with highly concentrated market in some cancer therapeutic areas seriously hinder competition.
We will say it again:The use of TRIPS flexibilities and other IP management tools for public health goals,such as better access to medicines,are legitimate,appropriate,and available to all governments. It is the role and duty of WHO,as the global health guardian,to guide and assist Member States on how to make use of such instruments.
A new business model that encompasses a non-patent-centric R&D model and increases transparency of procurement,pricing and reimbursement decisions is absolutely necessary.A wide range of stakeholders,including academia,industry, regulatory authorities and civil society are already collaborating in projects based on delinkage where prices are dissociated from production costs.WHO can and should do more to support these initiatives.