On Saturday, 27 January 2024, Knowledge Ecology International (KEI) delivered the following statement on the recommendations of the independent WHO Council on the Economics of Health for All.
EB 154: KEI statement on Economics and health for all
KEI read with interest the report and recommendations of the independent WHO Council on the Economics of Health for All.
While applauding many of the recommendations in the report, we were also struck by some recommendations and some omissions.
The report endorsed the grant of patent monopolies on new medical technologies, while calling for better regulation of the monopolies.
In our view, there is plenty of evidence that governments are failing to regulate monopolies in the public interest, and that the monopoly is the biggest barrier to providing access to medicine for all. For several years, the WHO has considered, with considerable opposition from drug companies, proposals to de-link biomedical R&D incentives from monopolies and high prices. Surprisingly, the report makes no mention of this work.