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WHO to hold public hearings on public health, innovation and intellectual property

All parties with an interest in the upcoming Intergovernmental Working Group on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property are invited to present their views to web-based public hearings organized by the World Health Organization (WHO).

WHO encourages individuals, civil society groups, government institutions, academic and research institutions, the private sector and other interested parties to contribute to the open hearings between 1 and 15 November.

The initiative will provide an opportunity for everyone, including the general public, to contribute to developing a solution to a major public health challenge — how to enhance innovation, research and development to address diseases predominantly affecting poor populations.

The developing world continues to bear the highest burden of disease but represents only a small part of the treatment market. While having to cope with a high incidence of infectious diseases, developing countries are also seeing a rapid growth in non-communicable and chronic diseases. Many of the benefits of modern science are not reaching the poor, in particular women and children, who are among the most vulnerable populations.

The web-based hearings come a few weeks before the start of formal discussions between Member States at an Intergovernmental Working Group on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property, taking place in Geneva from 4-8 December. The group will discuss a global strategy and plan of action to enhance research and development to respond to public health challenges. Contributions received between 1-15 November will form part of the documentation to be considered and discussed at the December meeting.

The parameters of the Intergovernmental Working Group were set forth in WHA Resolution 59/24, which was based on recommendations of the Commission on Public health Innovation and Intellectual property (CIPIH).

Contributors to the public hearings are invited to consult the resolution and the CIPIH report at:

Notice of hearings

The two-week web based hearings will run from 1 until 15 November. Beginning 1 November, contributions can be submitted via the dedicated web site in any of the six official UN languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish).

For instructions and to submit contributions, please visit this web site address: http://igwg.who.int/phi/. For those without access to the Internet, submissions can be sent by fax at: +41 22 791 48 89.

Submissions must not exceed five A4 pages. Contributors are encouraged to provide a summary of their comments, which must not exceed 500 words.

For more information contact:

Dr Howard Zucker
Representative of the Director-General for Intellectual Property
Innovation and Public Health
Mobile: +41 79 509 0628

Dr Elil Renganathan
Executive Secretary, Secretariat on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property
Mobile: +41 79 467 2500

Daniela Bagozzi
Communication Officer
Mobile: +41 79 475 5490
E-mail: bagozzid@who.int

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