Intellectual property, innovation and public health

Current discussions


Demonstration projects in the field of health research and development

These projects aim at developing health technologies (medicines, diagnostics, medical devices, etc.) for diseases that disproportionally affect developing countries and for which there are gaps in research and development due to market failure. The projects aim to highlight the effectiveness of alternative, innovative and sustainable approaches to financing and coordination.

The 67th World Health Assembly (WHA) of the World Health Organisation (WHO) called for the WHO Secretariat to pursue the implementation of the four priority demonstration projects in its decision (WHA67(15) – p. 8) in May 2014, as well as to accelerate the evaluation process for the remaining four projects. It also called for an exploration of whether an existing institution could host a common financing mechanism. The WHO Secretariat was asked to evaluate this option with the TDR (Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases). In fact, the TDR had agreed shortly before the WHA to establish a budget line of a maximum of USD 50 million for a maximum of four years to fund these demonstration projects. Switzerland promised to participate in financing this project if other Member States also committed themselves (Brazil, France and Kenya also made such commitments). The WHA’s decision also requested that the innovative components of the chosen demonstration projects be analysed in more detail using success measuring indicators, whereby delinkage, open-access models and multi-sectorial research platforms were expressly mentioned as possible criteria.