Feature story |

MSF response to outcome of WHO negotiations on medical R&D

On 26-28 November 2012, countries were meeting at the World Health Organization (WHO) to address the failings of the medical R&D system and discuss the conclusions of a 2012 report by a WHO-hosted group of independent experts, which provided a blueprint for action. This included establishing mechanisms for determining which are the most pressing medical needs and priorities, coordinating R&D efforts, securing sustainable financing for R&D, and establishing a R&D Convention that could provide a framework to support the integration of these different elements.

Médecins Sans Frontières responds to the outcome of the meeting: 

“Instead of pushing forward with a real plan to address the continued lack of suitable and affordable vaccines, drugs and diagnostics that our teams in the field face, all countries have really pledged to do is to continue observing the situation. Countries have substituted process for progress.

After ten years of intergovernmental negotiations and several landmark expert reports with concrete proposals on how to fix a R&D system that fails to deliver, this is a triumph of political foot-dragging and lack of leadership.

There is a complete disconnect between the recognition of the scale and urgency of the problem, which is widely shared, and the fact there are proposals for transformative change that have been pushed back for another four years.”

Michelle Childs, Director of Policy Advocacy, MSF Access Campaign