239. The representative of the World Health Organization said that WHO technical co-operation activities were largely demand-driven and included providing policy and technical guidance to its member states, transferring medical technology to facilitate local production of essential medical products, training and enhancing capacity as well as direct country support. WHO's mandate was derived from the Global strategy and plan of action on public health, innovation and intellectual property as well as other relevant resolutions adopted by the World Health Assembly. The Global strategy and plan of action observed the need for more R&D related to type 2 and type 3 diseases and the specific research in development needs in developing countries in relation to type 1 diseases. It highlighted the need to explore a range of incentive mechanisms to stimulate such R&D, including, where appropriate, addressing the delinkage of the cost of R&D and the price of health products. Based on this mandate, a consultative expert working group (CWG) had been established in 2010. The CWG had collected and analyzed proposals on how to increase such R&D from various sources and examined the appropriateness of different R&D financing approaches. The CWG had come up with a number of recommendations for further action, including a global framework on R&D, open approaches to R&D and innovation, pooling funds for R&D on an international level, direct grants to companies, milestone prices and end prices and patent pools.
240. To further analyze the CWG report and the feasibility of the recommendations, WHO member states had decided to hold a meeting in Geneva at the end of November 2012 to discuss any actions to take regarding research coordination and financing monitoring of R&D expenditures. Public health interests had to be adequately taken into account in the formulation of national policies and legislation on trade and IP, including through the implementation and the use of flexibilities provided by the TRIPS Agreement.
241. The WHO, WIPO and WTO strived to effectively coordinate their work in the field of public health and IP to foster the understanding of public health policy and IP and to increase the efficiency and capacity building in technical co-operation undertaken by the three Organizations. Within the scope of this trilateral collaboration, the three Organizations had organized a series of joint technical symposia to enhance the dialogue among the relevant organizations and to provide a platform for exchanging information and experiences. Activities also included the annual WTO Workshop on IP and public health that had already been mentioned by the WTO Secretariat. This activity took place every year in October in Geneva. This Workshop organized in collaboration with WIPO and WHO was an excellent example of how the three Organizations were working together and were approaching the intersections between public health and IP policy. Every year, WHO provided substantial support in the organization, including presentations relating to public health policy, data on access to medicines and prices, non-communicable diseases, regulatory questions, bilateral free trade agreements, and socially responsible licensing policies. In 2012, one full day of this workshop had taken place at the WHO.
242. Currently the three Organizations were also collaborating on a joint study on promoting access and medical innovation intersections between public health, IP and trade. This publication aimed to inform policy debates from an empirical perspective on the relationships and interactions between IP, trade and the dynamics of access to and innovation in medical technologies.
243. Within the context of the implementation of the Global strategy and the plan of action, the WHO was also leading an EU supported project on local production to increase access to medical products in developing countries. The project had involved a number of partners, including the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD). Phase 1 of the project had concentrated on identifying the main challenges and obstacles to local production and related technology transfer for medical products in developing and least-developed countries. The concluding output of phase 1 was a framework paper launched at a seminar held at the European Parliament in October 2011, which called for a harmonized approach requiring coherence across both industrial and health priorities. In Phase 2, a range of activities would be undertaken with this framework that would include country-based policy analysers to identify policy coherence across industrial and health policies, promotion of local production, development of a price comparison between imported and locally produced medicines and training and capacity building to work with national regulators and local producers.
244. Upon the request and in collaboration with WHO regional and country offices and relevant international organizations, WHO also provided technical and policy support in framing national policies, laws and regulations to favour application of management of IP in a manner that maximized health-related innovation and promoted access to health products. Support was directed to assisting member states in devising ways to safeguard public health interests while adhering to their obligations under international trade agreements. More ample information on technical cooperation activities under the WHO programme on public health and IP could be found in document IP/C/W/581/Add.2.