MEETING on 19 May 1998, WHO’s Executive Board decided to establish a two-tier method of working to explore the complex issues, (including those related to globalisation and trade), raised by Reslolution 24 on the Revised Drug Strategy, passed by the Board in 1997. An ad hoc working group would be open to all Member States wishing to participate; and a sub-group would be created to assist WHO in its contacts with relevant partners. These include the World Trade Organization, the World Intellectual Property Organization, the pharmaceutical industry and NGOs. The Board decided that the sub-group would comprise the Chair of the drafting group on the Revised Drug Strategy, established during the 51st World Health Assembly in 1998, and two Member States from each region (of which at least one would be currently entitled to designate a person to serve on the Executive Board).
As directed by the Board, WHO’s Regional Committees discussed the Revised Drug Strategy at their autumn meetings, and nominated their representatives for the sub-group. The group met for the first time in Geneva in October 1998, and fulfilled its main objective of drafting a new resolution on drug strategy. A total of 59 Member States participated in the meeting. As part of the sub-group’s deliberations a one-day panel discussion was held, which included presentations from interested international and nongovernmental organizations. The Executive Board will discuss the draft resolution at its 103rd session in January 1999.