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Countries meet in Geneva on innovation, public health and intellectual property


27 November 2006

WHO Member States and other stakeholders will meet in Geneva from 4-8 December to initiate talks aimed at increasing research and development for medicines and other medical products tailored to the needs of poor populations.

The first session of the Intergovernmental Working Group on Innovation, Public health and Intellectual Property will discuss ways to stimulate research and development for neglected and other diseases affecting developing countries; improve delivery systems and access; and examine sustainable financing mechanisms to ensure long-term benefits.

Despite enormous progress in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease, developing countries still remain largely excluded from the benefits of modern science. Caught in a cycle of poverty and disease, people in the hardest-hit countries face shorter life expectancies and economic decline.

The issue of better access to healthcare products for poor populations has been the subject of many World Health Assembly resolutions. In May 2006, Member States asked WHO to establish an Inter-Governmental Working Group on Innovation, Public health and Intellectual property.

The Working Group's mandate is to prepare a global strategy and plan of action on essential health research to address conditions affecting developing countries disproportionately. The resulting global plan of action will be presented to the World Health Assembly in mid-2008.

Note to editors

The meeting will be held at the International Conference Centre Geneva (CICG), 15 rue de Varembé, 1211 Geneva 20, in Conference Room 1. It will open at 10:00 on Monday, 4 December 2006, and will close on Friday, 8 December 2006.

Media accreditation procedures

Correspondents wishing to cover the Inter-Governmental Working Group must apply to the Communication Department at the World Health Organization. To do this, journalists should send a fax (+41 22 791 4858) or email (mediainquiries@who.int) requesting accreditation, along with a letter signed by their editor indicating the reason for accreditation, the dates for which accreditation is required and a photocopy of media credentials. Accreditation badges will be available to journalists at the International Conference Centre Geneva on Monday 4 December from 08.00hrs. Journalists who are already accredited by the UN Palais des Nations do not require additional media accreditation.

Facilities for Media

During 4-8 December, journalists will have access to the public gallery in the meeting room and to a media room at the International Conference Centre Geneva. News material and other announcements will be made available in this room throughout the meeting.

Video for Broadcasters

Cameras will not be allowed into the meeting room. For information on taping of interviews for broadcast TV and the feed point to EBU Geneva through WHO TV Studios or UNTV Geneva, please contact Jean-Marc Glinz, email: glinzj@who.int Tel.: +41 22 791 3924 or mobile: +41 79 475 5515.

For more information contact:

Daniela Bagozzi
WHO Communications Officer
Telephone: +41 22 791 4544
Mobile phone: +41 79 475 5490
E-mail: bagozzid@who.int

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