Union intervention at the 72nd World Health Assembly on access to medicine and vaccine

At the 72nd World Health Assembly, Member States discussed the draft of a road map report outlining the programming of WHO’s work on access to medicines and vaccines, including activities, actions and deliverables for the period 2019−2023. Access to safe and effective medicines and vaccines for all is one of the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals. In response to this report, The Union submitted the following statement urging Member States to ensure that future TB treatments and vaccines are affordable and accessible to everyone:

“The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung disease (The Union) is a global scientific organisation founded to advance solutions to the most pressing public health challenges affecting people living in poverty, including tuberculosis.

“The Union welcomes the zero draft of the Roadmap for access 2019-2023: Comprehensive support for access to medicines and vaccines. The Union supports the WHO developing a Global Strategy for TB Research and Innovation 2020-2030 to reinforce the activities outlined in the road map, in particular supporting the deliverables for coordinated actions on health research and development. The Union supports the generation of unifying principals for biomedical R&D to ensure the affordable and equitable access to new tools developed. Sharing data and intellectual property is key for creating a research-enabling environment and should be coupled with transparency in funding and R&D costs to ensure the cost of the final products is fair and accurately reflects the investments made.

“Tuberculosis does not represent a profitable market and this market failure is reflected in the lack of investment in R&D, with less than a third of all investments in TB R&D coming from the private sector. New incentive mechanisms, such as The Life Prize, are being investigated for TB. We urge member states and WHO to support these models or other de-linkage models to ensure that future TB treatments and vaccines are affordable and accessible to everyone, everywhere, as an important part of their approach for pursuing universal health coverage.”