Briefing on the Report of the WHO Expert Working Group on R&D Financing

Briefing on the Report of the WHO Expert Working Group on R&D Financing

19 April, 2010
Geneva, Switzerland
Rue de Lausanne 78, Salle LEH
Médecins Sans Frontières

The WHA Executive Board (EB) has been asked to submit to the 2010 World Health Assembly (WHA) a report by the the WHO Expert Working Group on R&D Financing. This report was presented to the WHO EB in January 2010. A meeting of the EB to consider the report will be held on May 13, 2010.

The briefing on Monday April 19 will review the following topics.


9:30am – 10:00am

Welcome and Introductory remarks

10:00am – 10:30am
PANEL 1: The Process and Methodology of the WHO Expert Working Group on R&D Financing

This panel will describe membership of the EWG, the meetings they held, the consultants they employed, and the methodology they employed to evaluate projects.

10:30am – 11:15am

PANEL 2: Fundraising Proposals: Taxes, New Donor Funds and Voluntary Contributions and the three EWG endorsed mechanisms to fund Product Development Partnerships

This panel will discuss the recommendation of the EWG for new sustainable sources of funding for R&D. What was recommended, and what was not recommended, and why? It will then discuss the recommendations of the EWG concerning the three EWG endorsed mechanisms to fund product development partnerships, including the FRIND, the PDPFF and the IRFF proposals. The panel will discuss also issues related to the broader objectives of the WHO Global Strategy on technology transfer, management of intellectual property rights and access to products.

11:15am – 11:30am Break

11:30am – 12:15pm

PANEL 4: De-Linking R&D Costs from Drug Prices, including innovation inducement prizes

The WHO Global Strategy says that

“proposals should be developed for health-needs driven research and development that include exploring a range of incentive mechanisms, including where appropriate, addressing the de-linkage of the costs of research and development and the price of health products and methods for tailoring the optimal mix of incentives to a particular condition or product with the objective of addressing diseases that disproportionately affect developing countries.

A number of proposals to de-link R&D costs from drug prices were presented to the EWG. Most were rejected. This panel will explore the actions of the EWG on this topic.

12:15pm – 1:00pm Lunch

1:00pm – 1:45pm

PANEL 5: Biomedical R&D Treaty

The WHO Global Strategy calls for improving cooperation, participation and coordination of health and biomedical research and development, stimulating stimulate and improving global cooperation and coordination in research and development, and examining the need for new mechanisms, in order to improve the coordination and sharing of information on research and development activities, including:

encourage further exploratory discussions on the utility of possible instruments or mechanisms for essential health and biomedical R&D, including inter alia, an essential health and biomedical R&D treaty

The panel will discuss the EWG rejection of the proposal to consider a biomedical R&D treaty, and will discuss the possible role of the WHO in exploring a biomedical R&D treaty.

1:45pm – 2:00pm

Summary and Charting Next Steps

Confirmed Speakers:

Thiru Balasubramaniam, Knowledge Ecology International
Pascale Boulet, Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative
Sophie Bloemen, Health Action International
Michelle Childs, Médecins Sans Frontières
James Love, Knowledge Ecology International
Sisule Musungu, Iqsensato
Sangeeta Shashikant, Third World Network
Tido von Schoen-Angerer, Médecins Sans Frontières