WHA 74 – Constituency Statement on agenda items 13.4 Global strategy and plan of action on public health, innovation and intellectual property (Document A74/9), and 13.6 Substandard and falsified medical products (Document A74/9)
IFPMA and GSCF, supported by ICBA welcome the WHA resolution on “Strengthening Local Production of Medicines and Other Health Technologies to Improve Access”. A resilient, sustainable and high-quality private sector in the health and life science industry is critical for the development, manufacturing, supply, distribution and availability of medicines and other health technologies such as vaccines, medical devices and diagnostics.
The creation of appropriate innovative, economic and regulatory ecosystems are critical for the development and sustainability of the health and life science industries at national, regional, and global levels. Governments can create an attractive environment for health industries by implementing a series of holistic policies. These include sustainable financing mechanisms and models, with access to low-interest capital; creation of a stable business environment that respects business ethics and incentivizes innovation, including through intellectual property protection and enforcement; growing and reliable local markets for healthcare products; facilitating voluntary and mutually agreed upon technology transfer and joint ventures; regulatory system strengthening and reliance practices; policies and legislation to combat falsified and substandard medical products; support and enforcement of GMP standards; free trade and elimination of Non-Trade Barriers; and appropriate incentives to encourage local, regional and international private sector investments.
Critically important is the development and retention of local skilled workforces in science, medicine, pharmacy, technology, digital health, production engineering, business and regulatory affairs. We note that many of these policy needs are proposed in the resolution, but it is essential that there is political leadership to implement such policies.
Member State commitments to long-term investment in health and concrete progress towards UHC as part of an effort to increase people’s access to high quality care is also important to support local production investment. Poor-quality care is now a bigger barrier to reducing mortality than insufficient access to healthcare. This is why commitment to UHC must also mean commitment to implement policies and legislation aimed at reducing the burden of substandard and falsified medical products.
As part of achieving these objectives it is essential that WHO and Member States maintain open and inclusive dialogue with the private sector. Only together through the co-creation of solutions and holistic policies can we meet the common objective of increasing access.