Public health innovation and intellectual property progress made in the inter-governmental working group to facilitate implementation of resolution WHA 59.24
AbstractThe African Region carries the heaviest burden of noncommunicable and communicablediseases, including HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. Yet, more than 50% of the population inthe Region lack regular access to essential medicines. One among other factors limiting access tomedicines is high prices. Prices of patented medicines are particularly beyond the reach of themajority of the people in Africa. During the past decade, a growing international debateconcerning the wider aspects of the relationship between intellectual property rights, innovationand public health has been taking place against a backdrop of poverty reduction and improvingaccess to health care.2. WHO has a long-standing mandate in the area of trade, intellectual property rights andaccess to medicines. Besides, WHO together with the African Union, regional economiccommunities and other UN agencies has been supporting countries to increase their awarenessand build their capacities to effectively use public health safeguards that are contained under theTrade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights of the World Trade Organization.3. In 2004, WHO formed an independent commission to analyse the relationship betweenintellectual property rights, innovation and public health (WHO Commission on IntellectualProperty Rights, Innovation and Public Health, CIPIH). The WHO Commission's report waspublished in April 2006, raising global awareness of problems around innovation and access tohealth products, especially in the developing world. The Commission concluded that intellectualproperty rights provide important incentives for the development of new medicines and medicaltechnologies. However, intellectual property rights do not provide an effective incentive whenpatient populations are small or poor. The Commission made around sixty recommendations tofoster innovation and improve access.
Regional Committee for Africa, 57. (2011). Public health innovation and intellectual property progress made in the inter-governmental working group to facilitate implementation of resolution WHA 59.24. https://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/1885