65th World Health Assenbly

[May 21-26, 2012]
Geneva, Switzerland
DNDi-MSF press briefing
MONDAY, MAY 21, 2012, 11:00 AM

WHERE: Press Library, which is located in Salle de Presse 2, ground floor, Building C.

“Global R&D Convention Needed to Address the Unmet Health Needs of Developing Countries

The international medical humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and non-profit drug research and development (R&D) organization Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) will hold a press briefing to present their views on the need for the World Health Assembly to move ahead in creating a binding convention for essential health R&D to meet the needs of developing countries. Speaking from their experience on the ground MSF will outline the urgent need to develop new medical tools to meet the needs of the poor. DNDi brings its experience as an R&D organization sharing the lessons it has learned through developing new medicines for neglected diseases, and why it believes there is a need for a more sustainable framework under the auspices of the WHO.

– Bernard Pécoul, MD, MPH, Executive Director, DNDi
– Tido von Schoen-Angerer, MD, MPH, Executive Director, MSF Access Campaign
– Michelle Childs, Director Policy Advocacy, MSF Access Campaign

Building on a decade-long process of analysis and deliberations, experts convened by WHO member States have now recommended that it is time to begin a process leading to the negotiation of a binding agreement, in order to address the R&D needs of developing countries. At the 65th World Health Assembly governments have an opportunity to support this landmark recommendation to fill innovation gaps for developing country health needs.

MSF and DNDi are holding this press briefing to outline from their experience why there is a need for governments to work collectively in a sustainable way to overcome the deadly gaps in biomedical R&D.


At this session, the Health Assembly will discuss a number of public health issues such as universal health coverage, Millennium Development Goals, noncommunicable diseases, mental disorders, nutrition and adolescent pregnancy.
See WHA website

The recently released report of the Consultative Expert Working Group on Research and Development: Financing and Coordination (CEWG) will be discussed at the Assembly.
More on the report
DNDi issued a policy brief to support the CEWG report. To read it (English, Spanish, Portuguese, and French versions), click here.