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WHO Executive Board Meeting Discusses Consensus On R&D For Neglected Diseases

Intellectual Property Watch reports on discussions at the ongoing WHO Executive Board meeting “over legal and political aspects of a consensus reached by a small number of member states in November on implementing a plan to address the global lack of research and development [R&D] for neglected diseases predominantly afflicting poor populations.” The news service writes, “A top issue for the week is the longstanding public health policy problem of finding ways to stimulate R&D on treatments for diseases for which there is little incentive for the private sector to invest, since they traditionally recoup their R&D costs through high prices on the resulting medicines.” IP Watch describes the outcomes of a November 2012 meeting to discuss the issue, writing, “This compromise outcome disappointed a number of member states and public health advocates who have been working on this issue at WHO for many years leading up to this point and hoped for a more ambitious plan.” The news service describes the ongoing debate (New, 1/28).

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