Health

SC Statement to WHA 76, 22 May 2023

Opening Statement of the South Centre to the Seventy-Sixth World Health Assembly

22 May 2023

The South Centre, the intergovernmental organization of developing countries, appreciates the opportunity to address this World Health Assembly (WHA).

This Assembly will take many important decisions.

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SC Intervention – UNGA Pandemic Multi-stakeholder Hearing, 9 May 2023

Summary of the intervention by Carlos Correa, Executive Director of the South Centre, at the UN General Assembly – Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response Multi-Stakeholder Hearing, New York, May 9th, 2023

The response to COVID-19 revealed serious shortcomings in the multilateral system. Despite solemn declarations, it was unable to ensure equity in addressing its health, economic and social impacts. See a summary of the South Centre’s intervention at the UN General Assembly – Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response Multi-Stakeholder Hearing below.

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Research Paper 176, 29 March 2023

Where Does Global Health Funding Come From and Where Does It Go? 

By Germán Velásquez

In theory, the World Health Organization (WHO) is the coordinating agency for global health. Influential private and public actors have claimed the relevance and central role of this United Nations (UN) agency. In practice, paradoxically, the money budgeted for health goes largely to other institutions and not to the WHO. New institutions and mechanisms have been created to which funds are channeled (GAVI, The Global Fund, Act-A, CEPI, COVAX, etc.). These institutions or mechanisms are, in most cases, public-private partnerships where the pharmaceutical industry is usually present. Official Development Assistance is important but represents only 1 per cent of what developing countries’ expenditure on health. How much is spent to promote global health and where this money goes is the subject of this paper. After the experience with COVID-19, a fundamental question that must be addressed is how the global public interest can be preserved by creating common public goods and protecting human rights in the prevention, preparedness, and response to present and future pandemics.

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AMR Virtual Workshop, 28 & 29 March 2023

Antimicrobial Resistance, pharmaceuticals and environment

South Centre Virtual Workshop, 28 & 29 March 2023, 2:30-4:30 PM CET 

The emergence and spread of resistant genes and pathogens among and between humans, animals and the environment is a global threat. Join to learn and share how civil society is tackling these issues and how to elicit ways such efforts might seed or scale more broadly such action.

This workshop is organized with the support of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the European Commission.

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Documento de Investigación 176, 29 de marzo de 2023

De dónde viene y a dónde va el financiamiento para la salud mundial  

Por Germán Velásquez

En teoría la OMS es la agencia coordinadora de la salud mundial, y los grandes actores, privados y públicos, revindican la relevancia y el rol central de esta agencia de Naciones Unidas. En la práctica, paradójicamente, los dineros para la salud van en gran parte a otras instituciones y no a la OMS o incluso se crean nuevas instituciones o mecanismos donde se canalizan los nuevos fondos (GAVI, Fondo Mundial, Act-A, CEPI, COVAX etc.) Estas instituciones o mecanismos son, en la mayoría de los casos,  partenariados público-privados donde está presente la industria farmacéutica. La Ayuda Oficial para el Desarrollo es importante pero sólo representa el 1% de lo que invierten los países en desarrollo en salud. En qué se gasta para promover la salud global y a dónde va este dinero es el objeto de este documento. Una de las preguntas que debemos hacernos tras la experiencia con COVID-19 es cómo vamos a preservar el interés público global mediante la creación de bienes públicos comunes y la protección de los derechos humanos en las actividades de prevención, preparación y respuesta a las pandemias presentes y futuras.

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Documento de Investigación 175, 22 de marzo de 2023

Experiencias internacionales sobre la concesión de licencias obligatorias por razones de salud pública  

Por Catalina de la Puente, Gastón Palopoli, Constanza Silvestrini, Juan Correa

El presente estudio tiene como objetivo analizar los regímenes de licencias obligatorias (LOs) en países seleccionados, en particular los elementos económicos de la concesión de las LOs, la determinación y negociación de regalías al titular del derecho. Para ello se realizó un análisis descriptivo y exploratorio de experiencias de concesión de LO en países seleccionados, con foco en las experiencias de los países en vías de desarrollo por su proximidad al caso argentino.

En particular se discuten los ejemplos de experiencias de emisión de medidas de LOs o de UG en países en vías de desarrollo. Con especial foco en Latinoamérica, donde sólo dos países han hecho uso de dichas medidas por razones sanitarias (Ecuador y Brasil). Además se examina la eficacia del empleo de LO o de UG en la reducción de precios donde se evidencian ahorros significativos Como conclusión se propone elaborar una metodología en relación a las regalías para Argentina mediante un rango de pago que tome en consideración criterios de accesibilidad y asequibilidad poblacional a la tecnología licenciada, así como la sustentabilidad de los presupuestos de los agentes financiadores.

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South Centre Submission to USITC, 17 March 2023

Submission by the South Centre to the USITC hearing on Covid-19 diagnostics and therapeutics

India, South Africa and co-sponsors made a proposal for a waiver to certain provisions of the provisions of the WTO Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) in March 2020. In June 2022, the WTO Ministerial Decision on the TRIPS Agreement provided a partial waiver to obligations in Article 31, namely an exception to the 31.f export restrictions, in relation to patents for Covid-19 vaccines. No decision has yet been made with respect to diagnostics and therapeutics for Covid-19.

In this context, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) requested the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) to prepare a report on Covid-19 diagnostics and therapeutics.

Read below the submission by the South Centre to the USITC investigation: COVID-19 Diagnostics and Therapeutics: Supply, Demand, and TRIPS Agreement Flexibilities (Inv. No. 332-596).

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SC Opening Statement to WHO INB4, 27 February 2023

Opening Statement of the South Centre to the WHO INB4

February 27, 2023

The South Centre, the international organization and think tank of 55 developing countries, appreciates the opportunity to provide a statement.

We applaud the effort done so far, yet consider that the current Zero Draft is not ambitious enough.

The Zero Draft text should be read against the purported objectives of the international instrument…

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Book by the South Centre, 2023

El debate sobre la exención de los derechos de propiedad intelectual en tiempos de pandemia

Descripción:

El 11 de marzo de 2020 la Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS) comunicó que la enfermedad por coronavirus de 2019 (COVID-19), podía ser considerada una pandemia. A medida que el contagio de la enfermedad aumentaba se hizo evidente la insuficiencia de los recursos sanitarios, vacunas y métodos de diagnóstico y tratamiento para enfrentar con éxito la pandemia. En este contexto, en la Organización Mundial del Comercio (OMC) se reavivó la tensión entre las reglas de propiedad intelectual y la salud pública.

Como consecuencia de ello, el 2 de octubre de 2020, Sudáfrica e India, presentaron ante la OMC una propuesta para que ciertas disposiciones del Acuerdo sobre los ADPIC no resultaran de aplicación para cualquier producto o procedimiento destinado a la prevención, contención y tratamiento de la COVID-19. Esta propuesta de exención (waiver), contó con la férrea oposición de la Unión Europea que presentó una propuesta alternativa. Para intentar llegar a un acuerdo se formó una comisión cuadrilateral conformada por Sudáfrica, India, la Unión Europea y EEUU. Finalmente, luego de dos años de negociaciones y en el marco de la 12ª Conferencia Ministerial (MC12) celebrada en Ginebra el 17 de junio de 2022, se aprobó un proyecto de exención de los derechos de propiedad intelectual que dista mucho de la propuesta original de 2020.

El presente trabajo, analiza detalladamente el proceso de discusión – en torno al tema del “waiver” – dado en el Consejo de los ADPIC de la OMC: estudia los antecedentes de la propuesta de exención, analiza los documentos presentados por las partes en pugna, revisa los argumentos esgrimidos a favor y en contra del waiver, los instrumentos propuestos y, asimismo, muestra cómo se desenvolvieron las distintas posiciones hasta alcanzar el acuerdo final.

Autores: Alejandra Aoun, Juan Correa, Martín A. Cortese, Vanesa Lowenstein, Sandra C. Negro, Guillermo E. Vidaurreta

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Research Paper 174, 13 February 2023

Leading and Coordinating Global Health: Strengthening the World Health Organization  

By Nirmalya Syam

The World Health Organization (WHO) should act as the directing and coordinating authority in global health but it has been steadily marginalized over time by design, through criticism as an inefficient organization, the reduction of assessed contributions and consequent impoverishment, and the proliferation of “new” international health agencies to which WHO has been compelled to cede operational space. This paper discusses how such marginalization of the WHO is in the interest of the dominant actors in global health, and leads to the neglect of health as a development issue. Today the global health system is more fragmented than it was when the WHO was established in 1948. Rich donor countries and corporations dominate multistakeholder governance structures in health partnerships, marginalizing most of the WHO membership and, notably, the Global South, in their decision-making. A consequence of this fragmentation in global health governance is that the space of the only multilateral organization where developing countries have an equal presence in terms of participation and decision-making as sovereign States –WHO– has been marginalized. Consequently, the development dimension of health is also marginalized and only the development assistance aspects of it receive major attention through vertical programmes and agencies addressing limited health needs without effectively addressing the basic need of strengthening health systems. Therefore, for developing countries it is imperative that WHO is effectively retooled to act as the leading and coordinating authority on global health with adequate legal powers, as well as institutional and financial capacities to do so without undue influence from donor countries and entities that have interests in the private sector. This would enable WHO to ensure that the interests of all countries are fairly addressed in its normative and operational activities. Such a transformation of WHO would require action both within and outside the organization. The paper proposes some suggestions in this regard.

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Research Paper 173, 7 February 2023

Analysis of COVID-Related Patents for Antibodies and Vaccines

By Kausalya Santhanam

This paper provides an analysis of patents covering selected antibodies and vaccines used in the treatment or prevention of COVID-19. The aim of the report is to support national patent offices and interested parties in developing countries with information that can serve as guidance for the examination of the claims contained in relevant patents or patent applications. The antibody combination considered for the patent analysis in this paper are Casirivimab and Imdevimab. The vaccines considered for the patent analysis are mRNA-1273, Sputnik, ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine (AZD1222). The analysis was completed in May 2022.

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