EATG » Media coverage of the 70th World Health Assembly

Media coverage of the 70th World Health Assembly

Intellectual Property Watch news coverage of the 70th World Health Assembly:

“Member governments of the World Health Organization are increasingly talking about how to bring about ‘fair’ pricing of medicines. And what’s clear is that it should not be based on how much you would pay to save your life, a senior WHO official said [last] week…” (New, 26/5).

“Antimicrobial resistance is a growing health concern as was acknowledged by countries at the World Health Assembly [last] week, and a resolution was adopted to fight sepsis, which is a life-threatening blood stream infection for which there is growing resistance…” (Saez, 26/5).

“We are in a liminal moment for global health financing. The “golden age” of increasing donor funding is clearly over, arrested by the 2008 financial crisis. But while donor contributions are no longer climbing, they have not been falling, either. And it is possible this status quo will hold… But it’s equally possible that this is just the pause before the roller-coaster drops…” (Pillinger, 26/5).

“It is not often that on the matter of access to medicines, India and the United States agree at the World Health Organization. But the issue of access to medicines is rising on the international agenda and developed countries are feeling the bite of prices of new medicines…” (Saez, 28/5).

“International organizations, in particular the World Health Organization, should help poor countries implement the flexibilities enshrined in international trade rules, a number of developing countries said at the World Health Assembly on 26 May…” (Saez, 28/5).

“Hopes of stimulating research and development for diseases affecting primarily poor countries and vulnerable populations, through a strategic work plan at the World Health Organization, are dimmed by the lack of funding…” (Saez, 29/5).

“…worldwide, less than 10% of R&D spending was going towards the diseases responsible for over 90% of preventable deaths. Advocates for equitable access to medicines cited this “10/90 gap” as a telltale sign of market failure—proof dispositive that the market is not an effective or ethical arbiter of health R&D priorities…” (Pillinger, 29/5).

“…Tragic stories and the possibilities to avert them were center stage at a panel last week on the margin of the ongoing World Health Assembly. Delinking the cost of research and development from the market prices of medicines was urged by speakers on the panel: representatives of cancer patients, civil society, and a senior Brazilian official…” (Saez, 30/5).

“Even though important milestones in the elimination of rubella and measles have been achieved worldwide, key challenges remain, presenters said during a technical briefing organized by the World Health Organization last week…” (Saez, 30/5).

“A committee of the World Health Assembly agreed… to replace the awkward term “substandard/spurious/falsely-labelled/falsified/counterfeit medical products” (SSFFC medical products) with “substandard and falsified medical products.” This is “the final step” in removing intellectual property from the name of medicines of this type…” (Geyter, 30/5).

“The resolution calls for governments to undertake 22 actions, including the implementation of national commitments for the prevention and control of cancer, the integration and scaling-up of national cancer prevention and control, and the development of national cancer control plans, which have adequate resources, monitoring and accountability…” (Saez, 31/5).

“A notable fact during this assembly has been the rising volume of voices from developing countries, joined by developed countries on issues related to access to affordable, safe, and efficacious medicines. Resolutions and decisions were adopted, many with hopes of better addressing challenges such as antimicrobial resistance, cancer, substandard and falsified medical products, medicines access and shortages and more… ” (Saez, Geyter, 31/5).


Official coverage of the 70th World Health Assembly:


Official coverage of the 70th World Health Assembly, highlights for the WHO European Region:


See also:

  • DEVEX: 8 takeaways from the 70th World Health Assembly