UN Backs Delinkage in Political Declaration of the High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly on Antimicrobial Resistance

A September 21, 2016 high level meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on antimicrobial resistance endorsed delinking the cost of R&D from the price and volume of sales.

The documents from the meeting are available here: http://www.un.org/pga/71/event-latest/high-level-meeting-on-antimicrobial-resistance/.

The relevant part of the political declaration was as follows:

(c) Underline also that all research and development efforts should be needs driven, evidence-based and guided by the principles of affordability, effectiveness and efficiency and equity, and should be considered as a shared responsibility: in this regard, we acknowledge the importance of delinking the cost of investment in research and development on antimicrobial resistance from the price and volume of sales so as to facilitate equitable and affordable access to new medicines, diagnostic tools, vaccines and other results to be gained through research and development, and welcome innovation and research and development models that deliver effective solutions to the challenges presented by antimicrobial resistance, including those promoting investment in research and development; all relevant stakeholders, including Governments, industry, non-governmental organizations and academics, should continue to explore ways to support innovation models that address the unique set of challenges presented by antimicrobial resistance, including the importance of the appropriate and rational use of antimicrobial medicines, while promoting access to affordable medicines;

Dr. Joanne Liu, the International President of Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors without Borders, issued a statement in response (full copy here), which read in part:

MSF is encouraged to see that this declaration builds on the UN’s recent High Level Panel Access to Medicines report in recognising the failures of the current medical research and development system, and by incorporating strong public health commitments to try to ensure that the new antibiotics, vaccines and diagnostics we urgently need to curb bacterial resistance are available and affordable for those who need them most. We’re also pleased to see this declaration calls for breaking the link between the cost of R&D and the price that companies charge for lifesaving medical tools, and for making sure there is a public return when public funding is used to create new products.”

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