Must find ways to ensure affordable access to key drugs amid Covid: Vardhan
As Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan wrapped up his term as Chairman of the Executive Board of the World Health Organization (WHO), he said there was no possibility for industries to stick to the intellectual property rights (IPRs) of COVID-19 vaccines and that organizations must find ways to ensure affordable access to key drugs.
Speaking at the 149th session of the Executive Council on Wednesday, the minister said: “At a critical time like the current pandemic, there is no way for the industry to stick to intellectual property rights ( DPI). Sometimes we find that there is little will for collaborative research. Affordability is also a key factor in achieving our goal of health for all. WHO, along with others such as the World Trade Organization (WTO) must find ways to ensure affordable access to these key drugs at critical times. ”
“..The biggest challenge ahead is the equitable distribution of vaccines. I believe that at WHO we must all seize the opportunity to serve the helpless and the voiceless, to see hope in these hours. it is a chance to forge, open collaborations and reaffirm this fundamental truth that the world is one, ”he added.
Commending the WHO for its unwavering support to all Member States throughout the pandemic, he said access to accelerated COVID-19 tools is the most coordinated and successful collaboration in history to accelerate the development, production and equitable access to COVID-19 tests. , treatments and vaccines.
“Excellencies, it is time to act now. It is a time when we all understand that there will be many health challenges over the next two decades. All of these challenges require a common response as they are shared threats requiring a shared responsibility to act. and of course that is also the primary responsibility of WHO, ”he said during the session.
“The greatest need of the hour is the shared idealism of nations. In such a severe global crisis, risk management and mitigation requires further strengthening of global partnerships to rekindle interest and investment in global public health, “said the Union Minister of Health.
He also insisted on greater aggressiveness in engaging in partnerships where joint action, sharing the research agenda and stimulating the dissemination of valuable knowledge. “We must commit to working with Member States, the organization and the global community of partners for an effective, efficient and responsive discharge of our public health organizations,” he noted.
With the 149th session of the Executive Council, Harsh Vardhan ended his term as President.
“It has been both an honor and a habitual experience for me to chair the Board of Directors over the past year … My heart is heavy as I exist in the midst of a lot of work that remains to be done and as the planet continues to reel under the pandemic crisis and economic turmoil, ”he said during the session.
Dr Patrick Patrick Amoth, Acting Director General of Health, Kenya Ministry of Health, has been appointed Chairman of the WHO Executive Board, replacing Harsh Vardhan.
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