KEI Statement on United Nations Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines Report

On September 14, 2016, the United Nations Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines issued its long-awaited report, which addressed the policy incoherencies between intellectual property, trade, human rights, innovation, and public health.

The report is available here:

We will provide a more detailed comment later today.

Statement by James Love, the Director of Knowledge Ecology International:

“The UN panel has recommended governments embrace new ways to pay for innovation and to increase access to health technologies. Under the current system, we rely too much on high drug prices to incentivize innovation, and this reduces access. The most important recommendations from the UN experts is to delink the cost of R&D from the prices of drugs. You cannot rely upon high drug prices to finance R&D without harming patients and creating unequal access. Policy coherence means making innovation and access happen at the same time. Delinkage is key to policy coherence.

“The panel makes a number of other helpful recommendations, such as those endorsing more transparency of the economics of drug development and marketing, the elimination of pressure on countries that use compulsory licenses to curb high drug prices, and encouraging companies to license patents to generic competitors in developing countries. All of these measures are important and useful.”