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News - published on 20 May 2016

The Access to Medicine Foundation at the 69th WHO World Health Assembly

The WHO’s annual World Health Assembly (WHA) draws the greatest minds working on global health. This year, Jayasree K. Iyer, Executive Director, together with Research Programme Manager Tara Prasad, will be joining on behalf of the Access to Medicine Foundation. They will participate in a series of meetings and bring their expertise on how to encourage pharmaceutical companies to do more in access to medicine.

From May 23 until May 28, delegates from all WHO Member States will meet in Geneva to discuss the health agenda prepared by the WHO Executive Board. Jayasree and Tara will participate in a series of WHA meetings and side-events.

The Access to Medicine Foundation has been invited to various WHA side-events that focus on the role of pharma in access to medicine. Among those being organised by or in collaboration with the pharmaceutical industry, Professor Richard Laing of Boston University will be leading a side-event on Non-Communicable Diseases and associated access-to-medicine initiatives from the industry.

At another side-event, chaired by Professor Prashant Yadav of the William Davidson Institute, University of Michigan, participants will address delivery challenges and the health supply chain. It will be co-hosted by the United Republic of Tanzania, Norway, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and the Accessibility Platform. Professors Laing and Yadav contribute to the methodology development for the Access to Medicine Index.

Within the WHA, Jayasree and Tara will join a series of discussions, including on antibiotic research and innovation. Participants will discuss progress on implementing the Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance, adopted by the 68th WHA in 2015. In a separate meeting organised by WIPO Re:Search, the focus will be on how IP-sharing can support the fight against Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs).

Also at the WHA, Wim Leereveld, Founder of the Access to Medicine Foundation, and Ellen ‘t Hoen, Founder of the Medicines Patent Pool, will give a joint lecture discussing the roles and responsibilities of the different actors involved in access to medicine. This includes governments, NGOs, academia, pharmaceutical companies, finance institutions and multilateral organizations such as the WHO.


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