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Health Policy Watch, Intellectual Property Watch Report On Issues Discussed At WHO Executive Board Meeting

Health Policy Watch: WHO Board Skeptical On Changes To Global Flu Framework, Sends Issue To WHA
“The World Health Organization Executive Board last week remained uncertain on the way forward on questions of access to influenza viruses as countries are increasingly implementing an international protocol regulating the sharing of genetic resources. The Board requested informal discussions be held in the lead-up to the annual World Health Assembly in May…” (Saez, 2/4).

Health Policy Watch: WHO Benchmarking Tool Made “More Transparent” In Evaluating Regulatory Authorities
“Over the past year, the World Health Organization (WHO) has rolled out the latest version of its benchmarking tool for evaluating progress of national regulatory authorities towards meeting WHO quality assurance targets. This benchmarking tool applies a more transparent and systematic approach than previous versions, and was developed through ‘extensive’ consultation with member states and the public…” (Branigan, 2/5).

Health Policy Watch: WHO Members Unite To Support Universal Health Coverage; U.S. Blasts Abortion
“…World Health Organization Board members agreed last week on a draft resolution for the preparation of a United Nations General Assembly high-level meeting on universal health coverage in the fall, following intensive closed consultations. The United States, however, dissociated itself from language it thought gave a permissive view of abortion…” (Saez, 2/5).

Intellectual Property Watch: TRIPS Debated As WHO Board Reaches Agreement On Universal Health Coverage
“…The mention of TRIPS flexibilities no longer appears in the resolution as something member states should be encouraging, but an introductory paragraph (PP14) does mention the TRIPS flexibilities and the 2011 Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health ‘which recognizes that intellectual property rights should be interpreted and implemented in a manner supportive of the right of Member States to protect public health and, in particular, to promote access to medicines for all, and notes the need for appropriate incentives in the development of new health products’…” (Saez, 2/5).