WHO member states met in Geneva from 26 to 28 November 2012 for analysing the report of the Consultative Expert Working Group on Research and Development Financing and Coordination (CEWG) and for discussing the feasibility of the recommendations proposed. The CEWG report, presented to the 65th World Health Assembly in may 2012, is the last document developed as a complement to the Global Strategy and Plan of Action on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property and proposes solutions for improving the coordination and financing of needs-driven research and development (R&D) for health with a view to increase access to essential medical products for diseases particularly affecting developing countries.
The first session of the meeting, on the morning of the 26th, was open to NGOs, which were allowed to make statements after the member states presented their general comments on the CEWG proposals. HIP, thanks to its accreditation by Medicus Mundi International, attended the meeting and made a statement, as did 6 other NGOs.
The outcome of the 3 days discussion is a very disappointing resolution. In spite of broad recognition of the urgency to address the health needs of developing countries and the inequities of the current research landscape, member states were unable to find a consensus on a coherent process for coordinating and financing needs-based R&D. The only progress shown was in the decision of member states to create a Global Health R&D Observatory, hosted by WHO, and to set up a demonstration project for testing the monitoring of R&D with a focus on a limited number of diseases. No clear information seems to have been provided on the budgeting of these actions.
The full HIP report of the meeting can be accessed here. Other reports and comments on the work of the open-ended meeting can be found on the websites of Knowledge Ecology International (KEI), including a video interview of Martine Berger, director of HIP, and of other people following the debates; Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and IP Watch.