At the May 7 informal, countries from Northern Europe with strong pharma industry lobbies proposed dozens of changes in the transparency resolution to make it weaker and in many cases confusing and meaningless. This table compares the two texts:
KEI’s comment on the proposed changes is as follows:
“At a moment when the public is looking to their elected governments to address the crisis in the pricing of new drugs and other biomedical inventions, the World Health Organization has been asked to do something important: improve the transparency of markets for biomedical products and services. A resolution sent to governments by the WHO on April 29 that had ten co-sponsors from Europe, Asia and Africa set out an ambitious but practical agenda for making drug prices, R&D investments, patent landscapes and clinical trial outcomes progressively more transparent, and access to information more equal. At a May 7 negotiation on the text, a group of Northern European countries, lead by Germany, Denmark, Sweden and the UK, plus Australia, led an effort to gut the resolution, on behalf of drug companies who oppose transparency. The USA, Austria, Poland and Hungary also sought to eliminate key elements of the resolution. If the secrecy promoting changes are accepted, the public will continue to operate with less information about biomedical markets, and governments will have less power to curb high prices and reform R&D incentives.” James Love, KEI Director.
The original sponsors are: Italy, Greece, Malaysia, Portugal, Serbia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, Uganda.
The countries that proposed changes in the May 7 informal, and the number of changes they proposed, were: