EB140 heats up during discussions of proposed changes to resolution on TOR of Overall Programme Review of GSPOA

* (The author thanks the PHM Watchers for their notes of the WHO EB140 deliberations).

On Saturday, 28 January 2017, the Secretariat of the World Health Organization (WHO) published a marked up, track changed version of the Terms of Reference of the Overall Programme Review of the WHO Global Strategy and Plan of Action on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property based on comments by Fiji, Thailand and the United States of America. This document can be found here: http://apps.who.int/gb/ebwha/pdf_files/EB140/B140_CONF7-en.pdf

Among the changes requested by the United States of America was the specific inclusion of the phrase "including public-and private-sector entities involved in biomedical research and development" of the last sentence of paragraph 1:

Guided by the report of the comprehensive evaluation and, where appropriate, taking into account other evidence and involving relevant stakeholders, including public-and private-sector entities involved in biomedical research and development, the programme review will:

A new paragraph c Bis is proposed:

(c BIS) ensure that over the course of the evaluation, there is appropriate input and review by the three agencies specified in Resolution WHA61.21 as implementers of the global strategy and plan of action on public health, innovation and intellectual property, specifically WIPO, WTO and UNCTAD;

New language in paragraph d is proposed (new text in bold):

(d) based on an assessment of the costs and benefits of the global strategy and plan of action, determine whether it should be continued to 2022 and, if it is continued, provide details of what may need to be improved and modified in the next stage of its implementation

A new paragraph 2 is proposed:


2. The final report of the overall programme review of the global strategy and plan of action on public health, innovation and intellectual property, focusing on its achievements, remaining challenges and recommendations on the way forward will be presented to the Seventy-first WHA in 2018 through the Executive Board at its 142nd session of the EB.

On Friday evening, 27 January 2017, the Executive Board attempted a read through of this document (with the new track changes proposed by Fiji, Thailand and the United States).

Algeria asked the proponents to explain the rationale behind the amendments.

The United States responded:

The goal of the group should be to seek to identify areas of consensus, so that there is some consensus in the group and that makes it easier for the WHA to come to some decision. We are trying to avoid a situation such as the UNHLP report where there is no consensus. This is to be done in line with the ten principles of GSPOA. We are feeling that something we often have not done is take the innovators in the conversation, we need to talk to the innovators. We always talk about access, and we don’t recognize the impact of unintended consequences of innovation.

The Chair (Raymond Busuttil, Malta) asked the Board, "can I ask, is the process we are adopting satisfactory or we should prepare conference paper in all languages and defer?"

Canada requested more time to digest the contents of the proposed changes to the resolution.

The Chair suspended Friday evening's consideration of the overall programme review of the global strategy and plan of action on public health, innovation and intellectual property. It is expected that Executive Board will resume discussions on the GSPOA either on Monday, 30 January 2017 or Tuesday, 31 January 2017.

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