IP Watch reports that the World Health Organization has released a long-awaited list of high-level experts tasked with finding innovative funding mechanisms for needed medical research on neglected diseases. The list largely contains governmental and intergovernmental representatives. The list of Expert Working Group members is available from the WHO website.
This group will examine current financing and coordination of research and development, as well as proposals for new and innovative sources of funding to stimulate research and development related to Type II and Type III diseases and the specific R&D needs of developing countries in relation to Type I diseases.
The group includes representatives from developed and developing nation governments, international organisations, think tanks and academia. The group is expected to report to the WHO Executive Board meeting in January 2009.
Some initial commentary on the Working Group includes:
- A developed country official said it is “a pretty good group” and “I look forward to following their work.”
- Richard Kjeldgaard, associate vice president for international intellectual property at the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, said the group looks “forward to working with the expert group as they examine proposals for new and innovative funding sources” aimed at addressing developing country needs.
- Sisule Musungu, president of think tank IQsensato, cautioned that high credentials alone “will not resolve the question, since the problem requires interdisciplinary analysis… and thinking ‘outside the box.’” The group’s “willingness to learn” and to “listen to a variety of ideas” will be critical, he added.