Posts Tagged “UNDP”

South Africa adopts new IP policy improving access to medicine

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South Africa adopts new IP policy improving access to medicine

South Africa’s highest decision-making body approved on 23 May the first phase of a new intellectual property (IP) policy that paves the way to better access to high-quality, affordable medicines in a country plagued with high infection rates for HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.

Africa’s second-largest economy faces the largest HIV epidemic in the world, according to UNAIDS. South Africa is home to one in five people in the world living with HIV and 15% of new infections occur within its borders. And according to the World Health Organization, the country ranked seventh in 2016 for new cases of tuberculosis.

Christoph Spennemann, in charge of UNCTAD’s intellectual property unit, congratulated South Africa on the adoption of the national IP policy.

“Not only is this an important step toward improved access to medicines in South Africa but also toward a stronger domestic pharmaceutical sector,” Mr. Spennemann said.

“The policy is in line with international practices and strikes a fair balance between incentives for innovation and the need to promote generic competition and access to medicines.”

Mr. Spennemann said that the government must now amend domestic laws to bring them in line with the new IP policy, otherwise implementation will be difficult. He said…

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Universal health coverage: Connecting the dots between innovation and delivery

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Last month at the Universal Health Coverage Forum in Tokyo, I witnessed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe inspire world leaders and advocates as they pledged their support for universal health coverage – the idea that everyone, everywhere, should be able to access quality health services.

The global movement for universal health coverage has come a long way thanks to the Government of Japan’s leadership. The next step is for governments and donors to make concrete investments that will help make universal health coverage a reality and for civil society to continue holding them accountable.

There is lots of work to be done. Filling the gap in access to quality health services requires coordinated investments in innovation and healthcare delivery, which have traditionally been viewed as separate priorities, but in reality, are two sides of the same coin.

On the one hand, we desperately need new medicines, diagnostics and vaccines to fight deadly diseases. A warming world is spreading vector-borne diseases like dengue, malaria, and yellow fever faster and further than ever before, creating added urgency to develop innovations before these diseases spiral out of control. Antimicrobial resistance is also complicating the challenge.

At the same time, innovations mean little without strong…

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