WHO, WIPO, WTO Trilateral Cooperation on Public Health, IP and Trade

The World Health Organization (WHO), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) are strengthening their cooperation and practical coordination on issues around public health, intellectual property (IP) and trade.

The three organizations meet regularly, exchange information on their respective work programs and discuss and plan, within the possibilities of their respective mandates and budgets, common activities. The trilateral cooperation is intended to contribute to enhancing the empirical and factual information basis for policy makers and supporting them in addressing public health in relation to IP and trade.

The WHO Global Strategy and Plan of Action on Public Health, Innovation and IP, the WIPO Development Agenda and the WTO Declaration on the TRIPS agreement and public health, provide the broader context for an informal and practical trilateral cooperation at the working level.

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WHO-WIPO-WTO COVID-19 Technical Assistance Platform

A one-stop shop for the full range of WHO, WIPO and WTO expertise at the interface of public health, IP and trade matters.

(Photo: WIPO/Berrod)

WHO, WIPO, WTO Map Out Further Collaboration to Tackle COVID-19 Pandemic

The Directors General of WHO, WIPO and the WTO, agreed to enhance their support to members battling the pandemic by collaborating on a series of workshops to augment the flow of information on the pandemic and by implementing a joint platform for tripartite technical assistance to member governments relating to their needs for medical technologies. As a result of their meeting on June 15, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Daren Tang and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala issued the following statement.

An integrated health, trade and IP approach to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic (update August 30, 2021)

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic constitutes an extraordinary global public health crisis that has created a pressing need for intensified global cooperation. This updated information note maps the myriad challenges posed by the outbreak in relation to the integrated health, trade and IP policy frameworks. It provides cross-references to the relevant sections in the updated trilateral study. The text is available in ArabicPDF, title goes here, ChinesePDF, title goes here, EnglishPDF, title goes here, FrenchPDF, title goes here, Russian PDF, title goes here, and Spanish PDF, title goes here.

Study: Promoting Access to Medical Technologies and Innovation

Second Edition - Intersections between public health, intellectual property and trade

Medical technologies – medicines, vaccines and medical devices – are essential for public health. Access to essential medicines and the lack of research to address neglected diseases have been a major concern for many years. To promote innovation and to ensure equitable access to all vital medical technologies, policy-makers need a clear understanding of the innovation processes that lead to new technologies and of the ways in which these technologies are disseminated in health systems. This study seeks to reinforce the understanding of the interplay between the distinct policy domains of health, trade and intellectual property, and of how they affect medical innovation and access to medical technologies.

The second edition comprehensively reviews the existing material and captures new developments in key areas since the initial launch of the study in 2013. Among the new topics covered by the study are antimicrobial resistance and cutting-edge health technologies. The second edition provides updated data on health, innovation trends in the pharmaceutical sector, and trade and tariffs. It includes an updated overview of access to medical technologies globally and key provisions in free trade agreements, and takes account of developments in IP legislation and jurisprudence.

A collaborative effort by WHO, WIPO and WTO, this study draws together the three Secretariats’ respective areas of expertise.  It is intended to inform ongoing technical cooperation activities undertaken by the three organizations and to support policy discussions.

Based on many years of field experience in technical cooperation, the study has been prepared to serve the needs of policy-makers who seek a comprehensive presentation of the full range of issues, as well as lawmakers, government officials, delegates to international organizations, non-governmental organizations and researchers.

The second edition of the study is available in Arabic PDF, Second edition in Arabic, Chinese PDF, Second edition in Chinese,  EnglishPDF, Second edition in English, FrenchPDF, Second edition in French , SpanishPDF, Second edition in Spanish and Russian PDF, Second edition in Russian.

The first edition of the study is available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.

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