Meeting: Seventy-first World Health Assembly (A71/1)
Agenda Item: 11.6 Global strategy and plan of action on public health, innovation and intellectual property
The Medicines Patent Pool welcomes the report by the Director-General on the Global Strategy and Plan of Action on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property (GSPOA). Over the past 10 years, the Global Strategy has provided a very important roadmap on strategies to promote innovation, access and technology transfer.
The MPP itself is a good example of Strategy implementation. At the time of the Strategy’s adoption, a patent pool in public health to facilitate innovation and access was an interesting idea that may have seemed ambitious to many. Today, MPP, an organisation funded by Unitaid, has grown to become a critical component of the international response to HIV, hepatitis and tuberculosis.
The document recommends expansion of the MPP to other diseases or technologies. A focus on essential medicines represents an interesting prospect for the MPP. For WHO: “essential medicines are intended to be available at all times in adequate amounts, in appropriate dosage forms, with assured quality, and at a price an individual and community can afford”. We believe the MPP could be one mechanism that can contribute to make that happen. Similarly, the MPP could play a part in contributing to progress on AMR.
We would also like to highlight progress on recommendation 17 “to promote further development of databases containing information on patents and licence agreements for health products”. Transparency of the patent and licence status of medicines is critical for expanding access. In 2016, the MPP launched MedsPaL, the Medicines Patents & Licences database, an on-line platform enabling stakeholders to get information on the intellectual property status of priority medicines for HIV, HCV and TB in developing countries. Recently, we announced the expansion of MedsPaL to all patented treatments on the WHO’s EML, through partnership with patent offices around the world.
The MPP looks forward to continuing collaboration with the Secretariat and Member States on implementation of the GSPOA.