IP Watch released the following report on the World Health Organization’s Intergovernmental Working Group on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property and their lack of transparency:
Work is ongoing within the World Health Organization on a member-mandated global strategy on public health, innovation and intellectual property, a WHO official said Tuesday. But little information about that work has been forthcoming since the strategy was approved in May.
The “silence of the WHO doesn’t mean we haven’t been doing work,” said Malebona Precious Matsoso, who directs the WHO Department of Technical Cooperation for Essential Medicines, speaking at an informal seminar hosted by IQsensato on 23 September. “We are cautious; we cannot communicate things that have not been formally recognised.”
…much work lies ahead on key decisions contained in the global strategy and plan of action. This includes assessing priority needs of developing countries in medical research and development, improving developing country capacity for R&D, and implementing alternative funding strategies to stimulate R&D.
Matsoso said that the WHO had “consciously identified those partners we think need to work with us” and that the organisation had had several meetings with different stakeholders.
She later explained that many of these stakeholders were researchers, often in developing countries, as well as public health associations, doctors and distributors of medicines. These are people, she said, whose day-to-day work will be affected by WHO decisions but who may not understand the implications of those decisions. They often “come back to us saying they need their own assemblies to assess” the document, she added.
Matsoso also said the WHO is working on a “matrix” detailing what activities mentioned in the global strategy already exist, what activities need scaling up, and what activities constitute new work, so that the organisation can decide out how to budget the programmes. “We’re hoping to finalise it soon and share it with you,” she said.