The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) today welcomes the release of the report of the United Nations Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on Innovation and Access to Health Technologies.
The Panel has clearly confirmed the policy misalignment between intellectual property and trade rules, international human rights obligations, and public health objectives. It has underlined many immediate access challenges and steps that must be taken to overcome them, and highlighted that existing funding and incentive mechanisms are not adequate to stimulate innovation to address global public health needs. The report recommends several ways for governments to act. They should:
- initiate intergovernmental negotiations for a global R&D Convention that delinks the cost of innovation from prices;
- negotiate a Code of Principles to be adopted by all R&D players, ensuring innovation delivers affordable and accessible products;
- require transparency from all R&D players, especially on R&D costs; and
- ensure a ‘public return’ on taxpayer-funded contributions to R&D.
Response from DNDi Executive Director Dr Bernard Pécoul:
“Governments mustn’t allow the report to become yet another exercise that describes the current failures of the medical innovation system without contributing concrete steps to address those failures. Responsibility now clearly falls on them at the highest political levels to act by putting in place innovative and practical solutions.”
“We welcome the call for the UN Secretary-General to set up a process where governments will negotiate an R&D Convention, based on the principle of delinkage, so that medical innovation can be steered towards public health priorities and deliver affordably priced products. Sustainable solutions are needed.”
“The first steps can be taken at next week’s UN High-Level Meeting on Antimicrobial Resistance, where we expect governments to call for alternative models of R&D that delink R&D costs from prices and sales. New incentives and financing mechanisms are needed for AMR, and new money must ensure sustainable access to new tools, such as through a framework for R&D and Stewardship.”