The Inter-Governmental Working Group on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property (Igwg)–the Way Ahead (Editorial)

The Inter-Governmental Working Group on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property (Igwg)--the Way Ahead (Editorial)

There is increasing recognition of the growing global disease burden and conditions that disproportionately affect the poor, especially women and children; over 50 per cent of infections occur in developing countries where about a half survive on US$ (2) day (1). To compound the problem, along with Types II and III diseases the in Type I diseases* are threatening to overtake the infections in developing economies (2). By 2015, chronic non-communicable diseases will be the leading cause of deaths in the developing world (3). Recognizing, and reiterating that (i) very few products are being developed for tropical diseases as developing and least developed countries account for less than 10 per cent of global drug sales; (ii) over 90 per cent of total global deaths due to infections occur in developing countries; (iii) there is insufficient R&D on the ‘neglected diseases’ and ‘poverty related diseases’ especially by the pharma industry; the pharma industry should address this public health needs by enhancing R&D to bring out new products, enhance the therapeutic efficacy of existing ones and not only look for potential market gains to make them available universally and (iv) need to urgently address the new public health problems with international impact as the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS); there is a need to establish conditions that are conducive to R&D to spur innovation for new medicines for the developing countries, the World Health Assembly (WHA) in 20034 decided to establish “, a time-limited body to collect data and proposals from different actors involved and produce an analysis of IPRs, innovation and public health, including the question of appropriate funding and incentive mechanisms for the creation of new medicines and other products against diseases that disproportionately affect developing countries”. The Commission on Intellectual Property Rights, Innovation and Public Health (CIPIH) set up in 2004 made an in-depth analysis of the issues and in April 2006 came out with its report “Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property Rights: Report of the Commission on Intellectual Property Rights, Innovation and Public Health “with 60 recommendations (5).

The Inter-Governmental Working Group on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property (Igwg)--the Way Ahead (Editorial)



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