Union intervention at the 70th World Health Assembly on R&D investment

Member States attending the 70th World Health Assembly today discussed a report from the Consultative Expert Working Group on Research and Development (CEWG) outlining progress to increase resources for research and development (R&D). During the discussion at the Assembly, The Union read a statement highlighting the urgent need for investment in R&D to end tuberculosis (TB), and informed Member States about the 3P project - which is in line with the CEWG principles of affordability, effectiveness, efficiency, and equity, with knowledge sharing approaches.

Grania Brigden, Project Lead for the 3P Project of which The Union is a key partner, presented the following intervention:

‘The International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) welcomes the Secretariat exploring the possibility of organising a specific high-level event in 2017 with the purpose of promoting increased investment into research and development funding in under-funded areas such as tuberculosis.  In 2015, TB was the number-one infectious disease killer and has a desperate need for new vaccines, diagnostics and treatments, yet investment in R&D in 2015 for new TB tools decreased by over US$50M to US$620million, reaching its lowest level since 2008.

‘The Union is a member of the steering committee, chaired by the South African Government, along with nine other organisations for the 3P Project. The 3P project is a new initiative using an innovative and collaborative model, in line with CEWG norms and principles, to address the lack of investment in R&D for TB and ensure that new TB treatments adequately address public health needs and are affordable.

‘The 3P Project rewards and funds drug and regimen developers throughout the pipeline, facilitates collaboration via sharing of data and intellectual property, using the existing Medicines Patent Pool and the Critical Path Institute. The 3P Project will ensure the final product will be affordable, removing the need to re-coup R&D investment from the product’s final price. The 3P Project embodies “de-linkage” as defined by the UN Political declaration on AMR and implements the Push, Pull and data and Intellectual Property Pooling mechanisms highlighted in the UN High level Panel on Access to Medicine report. 

‘With conversations regarding new models of R&D happening in multiple fora, including within AMR discussions at the WHA and G20, we urge the WHO and its Member States to ensure the principles of the CEWG are maintained and new R&D models, like the 3P Project, are supported.’

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