Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property

WHO's Second Public Hearing on Public Health Innovation and Intellectual Property

Leading up to the second Intergovernmental Working Group on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property (IGWG), on 5-10 November 2007, WHO has set up a second web-based public hearing. Individuals, civil society groups, government institutions, academic and research institutions, the private sector and other interested parties are invited to contribute to the open hearing between 15 August and 30 September 2007.

The WHO Commission on Intellectual Property Rights, Innovation and Public Health concluded its report in April 2006. Its recommendations were considered by the Fifty-ninth World Health Assembly which adopted Resolution WHA59.24: "Public health, innovation, essential health research and intellectual property rights: towards a global strategy and plan of action".

Resolution WHA59.24 requested the Director-General of WHO to convene an Intergovernmental Working Group (IGWG ) open to all interested Member States to draw up a global strategy and plan of action aimed at, inter alia, securing an enhanced and sustainable basis for needs-driven, essential health research and development relevant to diseases that disproportionately affect developing countries; and submit this to the Sixty-first World Health Assembly in May 2008.

The second public hearing is divided into two sections.

Section 1 is dedicated to comments and inputs to the recently released draft Global Strategy and Plan of Action on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property,A/PHI/IGWG/2/2. This document, which will form the basis for negotiations during the second IGWG is based on the recommendations of the CIPIH report, relevant WHA resolutions, outputs from the first IGWG session, and follow-up submissions from Member States.

Section 2 relates specifically to the World Health Assembly Resolution WHA60.30, which requested the Director General "to encourage the development of proposals for health-needs driven research and development for discussion at the Intergovernmental Working Group that includes a range of incentive mechanisms including also addressing the linkage between the cost of research and development and the price of medicines, vaccines, diagnostic kits and other health-care products and a method for tailoring the optimal mix of incentives to a particular condition or product, with the objective of addressing diseases that disproportionately affect developing countries."

Contributors are invited to provide submissions to one of the two sections or to both.