INB 3: KEI statement on Article 9 – Fair, equitable and timely access and benefit-sharing

On 6 December 2022, Knowledge Ecology International (KEI) delivered the following statement on Article 9 – Fair, equitable and timely access and benefit-sharing of the conceptual zero draft at the third session of the WHO Intergovernmental Negotiating Body to draft and negotiate a WHO convention, agreement or other international instrument on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response (INB).

Article 9 on fair, equitable and timely access and benefit-sharing, should include more concrete obligations to provide benefit sharing, and one straightforward way is to require a modest royalty on the sale of commercially offered vaccines and therapeutics that the WHO determines are relevant and important countermeasures for the pandemic. The money from this royalty should be shared not only with those who share pathogens and sequences, but also for inventions, data, cell lines, know-how, and other goods if they are openly shared. If you want people to openly share inventions, data, cell lines, and know-how,etc, then provide an incentive.


Thiru Balasubramaniam is the Geneva Representative of Knowledge Ecology International. Prior to his post as KEI’s Geneva Representative, Mr. Balasubramaniam worked at Health Action International in Colombo and at the World Health Organization in Geneva as a technical officer in the Department of Essential Drugs and Medicines Policy dealing with access to medicines and intellectual property. He began his career with CPTech working on issues related to health care and intellectual property. Mr. Balasubramaniam holds a B.A. in Economics and a Minor in European History from the University of Pennsylvania.