Delivered by Grega Kumer, Head of DG Office & Legal Issues, IFPMA
The access roadmap offers an opportunity for WHO to address immediate patient needs worldwide. We welcome that WHO has put emphasis on areas where it has a unique mandate and that are covered by the Thirteenth GPW, such as those under “ensuring the quality, safety and efficacy of health products”. For its successful implementation, the organization should take a pragmatic approach that focuses on a limited set of specific, measurable priorities on which there is widespread international consensus and where WHO has particular expertise.
We are disappointed that in the area of pricing, the Roadmap takes a narrow approach by focusing on price transparency rather than on the broader context that enables better, sustainable financing policies. The unintended consequences of price transparency on the capacity of companies to offer preferential pricing to developing countries needs to be better understood before new workstreams are created. More engagement with the private sector and other stakeholders will be critical in making progress towards increasing domestic financing for UHC and improved patient affordability, as well as sustainability of health systems.
Finally, WHO technical assistance on intellectual property and trade issues should strictly follow the mandate given by Member States in GSPA. GSPA requires technical assistance to be “as appropriate, upon request, in collaboration with other competent international organizations”. Strong intellectual property rights are critically important to the discovery of new treatments and vaccines and improve patient access by incentivizing faster diffusion of these technologies around the world. It is fundamental that any IP advice is based on areas of broad international consensus and that WIPO and WTO are systematically involved.
IFPMA continues to underscore the value of partnerships. Our members are currently engaged in over 350 health partnerships, and we look forward to a continued constructive collaboration.