Tuesday, April 24, 2012
A global treaty on health research for the poor?
Researchers contend that it is time to move from debate to action with new mechanisms for funding research into diseases faced by developing countries. In the current financial and political climate, some might see this as say foolhardy — to propose a binding international treaty on the funding and coordination of research into health problems facing the developing world. Nevertheless this is what the World Health Assembly (WHA), the body responsible for the policies of the WHO, is being asked to consider at its annual meeting in Geneva next month (21–26 May). The proposal comes from the WHO's Consultative Expert Working Group on Research and Development (CEWG), which has spent the past year analysing various ways of enhancing research and development (R&D) of treatments for diseases prevalent in developing countries. In a report recently released, it lists measures that could bridge the continuing gap between the potential that science offers for creating such treatments, and the failure of the market to provide adequate incentives to make them affordable.