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At the last World Health Assembly in May 2006, the WHO member states passed a resolution establishing an intergovernmental working group to "develop a global strategy and plan of action including to provide a framework to enhance research and development into diseases that disproportionately affect developing countries," which will meet for the first time December 4-8 under the leadership of Dr. Howard Zucker, the Assistant Director-General for Health Technology and Pharmaceuticals at WHO, and supported by a dedicated secretariat (see the WHO press release for more details). This effort builds on the recommendations laid out in the report of the Commission on Intellectual Property Rights, Innovation and Public Health, which Owen has previously discussed here and here.

In advance of the upcoming Working Group meeting, WHO has now launched a virtual public hearing to solicit feedback from individuals, civil society groups, government institutions, academic and research institutions, the private sector and other interested parties on the proposed plan and related issues for consideration. Submissions will be accepted through November 15.

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CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors, drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD is a nonpartisan, independent organization and does not take institutional positions.