Research and Development Coordination and Financing. Report of the Expert Working Group
(2010; 98 pages) [Arabic] [Chinese] [French] [Russian] [Spanish]


"Innovative developing countries" are now considered to have requirements and strengths that are different from those of both the developing and the developed world. One issue that is assuming increasing prominence is the cost of and lack of access to essential health products in the context of global financial constraints and domestic fiscal space issues, and the extent to which these problems are linked to current technological innovation. Many technological developments have come from developed countries and have numerous restrictions that place them beyond the reach of the world’s poor countries, adding to the plethora of existing restrictions inherent to institutions and health systems.

This report was written by a time-limited expert working group established by the Director- General of WHO in response to the request of the Health Assembly in resolution WHA61.21, with specific, limited responsibilities to sift the enormous amount that has recently been written about the subject and related areas. The work of the Expert Working Group builds on the earlier work of the Commission on Intellectual Property Rights, Innovation and Public Health and the Intergovernmental Working Group. The interrelations between intellectual property, innovation and public health have been discussed extensively in those forums. The Intergovernmental Working Group in particular noted that intellectual property rights are important incentives for the development of new health-care products but that these incentives alone are not sufficient for finding new products to fight diseases when the paying market is small or uncertain. A key element of the Global strategy and plan of action on public health, innovation and intellectual property adopted by the Sixty-first World Health Assembly is to encourage and support the application and management of intellectual property in a manner that maximizes health-related innovation, especially to meet the research and development needs of developing countries, protect public health and promote access to medicines. Another aim is to explore and implement, where appropriate, new incentive schemes for research and development.

The Working Group decided from the beginning to adhere strictly to its mandate and not to address the issues that remained unresolved from the work of other groups. Thus, the report is structured to address current financing of research and development, coordination of research and development and proposals for new, innovative sources of financing to stimulate research and development.

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