Innovation, Intellectual Property Protections Needed To Achieve UHC Goals, Opinion Piece Says

CapX: Undermining private sector innovation puts lives at risk
Jasson Urbach, director at the South Africa-based Free Market Foundation

“…The world needs new approaches and solutions [to health care] — and innovation and intellectual property (IP) must be central parts of those solutions. The private sector has long been the driver in creating products and services needed not just to fix today’s health emergencies but to engineer tomorrow’s cures. … Discussions at the high-level meeting [on universal health coverage] offered a stark reminder of how organizations such as the U.N., the World Health Organization, and other international organizations have sought to undermine innovation and exclude critical partners. … Better IP protection is associated with the faster development and deployment of new medicines. … A narrow focus on IP rights also fails to address the real barriers to access to medicines, including sustained investment in health systems, weak health care infrastructure, inadequate training for healthcare personnel, and ongoing trade barriers. … Achieving universal health coverage will require innovative new technologies and well-crafted, policies to solve tomorrow’s health challenges…” (10/7).