WHO Expert Panel On Innovation In Funding For R&D Faces Criticism

“A WHO expert panel set up to find new ways to fund health research for neglected diseases has defeated the purpose of the initiative by selecting less-ambitious rather than mold-breaking ideas, civil society groups have said,” SciDev.Net reports. “At a meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, earlier this month (December 3-5), the panel shortlisted several ‘demonstration projects’ intended as examples of innovation in funding research and development (R&D) for neglected diseases and other health issues that have fallen through the cracks of the current global R&D system, particularly in developing countries,” the news service notes. However, “there is nothing new in the seven research proposals, plus one side proposal, that were chosen, according to Judit Rius Sanjuan, who attended the meeting and who manages the U.S. Access Campaign for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), which promotes global access to medicines and diagnostic tests,” the news service writes and examines “[c]urrent efforts to find new funding models for health R&D” and discusses “criticism of the panel’s selection” (Dobrovolny, 12/18).