6.14 Consultative expert working group on research and development: financing and coordination

Secretariat note

The report provides an account to the Board of the progress made by the Consultative Expert Working Group on Research and Development Financing and Coordination in taking forward the work of the Expert Working Group on Research and Development Financing. The Board is invited to consider a summary of the outcome of the meetings held to date, and of the group’s call for submission of proposals for research and development financing and coordination.

Watchers' notes of EB discussion

Consultative expert working group on research and development: financing and coordination (EB130/23)

The EB discussed the report by the Secretariat contained in document EB130/23. Several delegations said they were looking forward to receiving the full report by the Consultative Expert Working Group (CEWG) in April 2012.

Upon a request by Norway, seconded by Canada and Estonia among others, the Secretariat agreed to hold informal meetings in Geneva in preparation for the 65th WHA in May to update delegations on the progress of the CEWG after the report is released.

In a rather controversial intervention, Switzerland noted that time will be tight from April, when the report will be published, till the WHA in May making it not possible for them to take a decision about it, and suggested having a one-year process to consider the report before any decisions are taken.

This proposal was invalidated by Brazil on the grounds that the EB cannot change the mandate put forward by a WHA resolution, referring to WHA63.28 establishing the CEWG.

China also proposed public information sessions be held, and that all relevant documents be made available on the WHO website.

In their statement, Brazil, a non-EB Member, noted that there are “enormous inequalities” which still remain around the world, highlighting that there is nearly 2 billion people deprived of access to essential medicines, most of them living in poverty in developing countries. Brazil attached high importance to the full implementation of the Global Strategy and Plan of Action on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property.

Bolivia, also a non-EB Member, said it has been following the CEWG process, and mentioned their five original proposals to the Expert Working Group (EWG) to seek innovative ways to encourage research on diseases which particularly affect developing countries, while also delinking cost of medicines from research expenses.

In response to interventions, and in addition to holding a briefing meeting in Geneva, the Secretariat clarified that two regional consultations could not be held (EMRO and EURO) because of the inability of the regions to define dates, although the Secretariat has been proactive in terms of approaching the regions. The EB took note of the report.