Final Report of the WHO Expert Working on R&D Financing published on Friday, January 15, 2010

At the proverbial 11th hour today, the World Health Organization published the final report of the “World Health Organization Expert Working Group on Research and Development Financing” in English three days before the commencement of the 126th session of the WHO Executive Board on January 18, 2010. At this juncture, it does not appear that the WHO Secretariat has made available official versions of this Report in Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish for Member States’ consideration.

The web link to this 98 page report is here:

The full title of the Report is: “Research and Development – Coordination and Financing: Report of the World Health Organization Expert Working Group on Research and Development Financing.”

The publication date is “January 2010” and the ISBN reference is: “978 92 4 156395 6” and “English” is listed under the “Languages” entry.

The acknowledgments section states the following:

The Expert Working Group acknowledges the contributions to this report of WHO Member States, academic and research institutions, civil society groups, funding institutions, health-related industry, international intergovernmental organizations and other stakeholders. These groups provided input at two web-based public hearings on new financing proposals and also to the framework for evaluation.

This report is the product of extensive consultations. It benefited from reports prepared by Pedro Conceição, Sania Nishtar and Mary Moran with the assistance of colleagues at the George Institute for International Health (Australia). Additional support was provided by the Global Forum for Health Research (Switzerland). The Expert Working Group also thanks Dr Ok Pannenberg for
technical support.

In section 4.9 on General conclusions and comments, the Report estimates that the creation of a global health research and innovation coordination and funding mechanism to provide funding for:

– targeted research and development for new drugs, vaccines, diagnostics and intervention strategies for health conditions of the poor, both communicable and noncommunicable diseases that are prevalent in low- and middle-income countries, and for which adequate interventions are not presently available;
– research primarily conducted in low- and middle-income countries that is essential to improve health, including: health policy and systems research, social science and behavioural research, implementation and operational research and research on the
determinants of health. The funding would combine capacity-building with focused research to support national health programmes, such as health systems strengthening, improving reproductive health, eradicating target diseases and responding to health threats such as climate change;
– enhancing innovation capacity and environments in low- and middle-income countries, to enable them to strengthen their national innovation systems;
– operating a global health research observatory to ensure regular, accurate disease monitoring and research and development resource tracking, to provide both the input for priority setting and the means for monitoring progress;
• establishment of a structure responsible for collecting, collating, analysing, interpreting and disseminating information on funding for research and development.

would cost US$ 3 to 15 billion per year. Footnote 1 on page 43 of the Report states that the “figure of US$ 3 billion comes from the Commission on Macroeconomics and Health and is likely to be much higher now. US$ 15 billion is an approximate calculation on the basis of the authors’ experience in research coordination”.