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[e-drug] G8 action plan on health

E-DRUG: G8 action plan on health
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[Below the full text of the "action" plan of G8 on health. A rather
disappointing rehash of pharmaceutical industry points in section 3 "Access
to [essential and/or non-essential?] medicines". WB]

http://usinfo.state.gov/cgi-bin/washfile/display.pl?p=/products/washfile/lat
est&f=03060203.glt&t=/products/washfile/newsitem.shtml


      G-8 Pledges Greater Efforts to Fight HIV/AIDS

(Agrees to strengthened efforts on previous commitments) (1280)

The Group of Eight major industrialized nations June 2 reaffirmed
earlier international agreements on the importance of improving public
health and pledged to strengthen efforts in the fight against
HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

In collaboration with the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis
and Malaria, the G-8 nations have also agreed to host a conference in
July to bring together governments, international organizations and
other private organizations in the field to develop ideas of how to
raise more funds for the international anti-disease campaign.

The G-8 action plan on health underscores the importance of
strengthening health care systems and increasing access to medicines
as long-term means of improving public health.

Following is the text of the G-8 action plan on health:

(begin text)

HEALTH
A G8 ACTION PLAN

Global health crises call for close international co-operation on
policies and methods. We reaffirm our commitment to achieving the
development goals set out in the Millennium Summit and at the World
Summit on Sustainable Development. We will work in partnership with
developing countries, the private sector, multilateral organisations
and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to help achieve these health
goals. Multilateral and bilateral Official Development Aid as well as
private efforts from companies and NGOs should match and complement
existing efforts to improve health outcomes.

Fighting HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis And Malaria
1.1 We express our continued concern at the increase in the global
HIV/AIDS pandemic. We welcome the increased bilateral commitments for
HIV/AIDS, whilst recognising that significant additional funds are
required. We commit, with recipient countries, to fulfil our shared
obligations as contained in the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS
for the 2001 United Nations General Assembly Special Session.

1.2 We reiterate our commitment to fight against AIDS as well as
Tuberculosis and Malaria as agreed in Okinawa, through further actions
in such areas as institutional building, public-private partnerships,
human resource development, research activities and promotion of
public health at the community level. We will strengthen our efforts
in this fight, both bilaterally and multilaterally.

1.3 We reaffirm our support for the Global Fund to fight AIDS,
Tuberculosis, and Malaria.

1.4 We welcome and support the proposal to host, in collaboration with
the Global Fund, an international donors' and supporters' conference
bringing together governments, international organisations, NGOs and
members of the private sector active in this field in Paris this July.
The purpose will be to develop strategies for mobilising resources in
order to secure sustainable long term financing for the Fund and other
complementary efforts, and to achieve cost effective results-targeted
management of the Global Fund.

1.5 We call upon those that have not yet done so to consider
increasing their support to the Global Fund as well as to other
multilateral and bilateral efforts to combat these infectious
diseases.

2. Strengthening health systems

2.1 We emphasise the importance of strengthening health systems as a
framework for increasing access of the neediest populations of
developing countries to health care, drugs and treatments. We call
upon these countries to develop and prioritise their own health
strategies and policies. Multilateral and bilateral development
assistance, as well as private sector efforts from companies and NGOs,
are essential to improving these health systems. Adequate support and
financing of health care are needed to increase the number and
retention of health care personnel, advance the rational use of
medicine, and strengthen drug distribution systems. These efforts are
essential to improving access and quality of health care in poor
countries.

2.2 We will encourage and support where appropriate the use of
information and communication technologies for medical treatment.

3. Access to medicines

3.1 Building on strengthened health systems, in partnership with
others, including public-private partnerships, we will work to develop
an integrated approach that will facilitate the availability and
take-up of discounted medicines for the poorest in a manner that is
fair, efficient and sustainable. We recognise the complexity of
increasing access to medicines in developing countries which, among
other factors, depends on affordable prices. We welcome pharmaceutical
companies' voluntary long-term commitments to providing essential
medicines at substantially discounted prices to developing countries
and strongly encourage further efforts, including through supply
competition. We will also work with developing countries to encourage
greater uptake of such offers of free and discounted drugs, as are now
being made. We support and encourage developing countries to
contribute to the goal of affordable medicines by reducing their
tariffs and fees on discounted and donated products.

3.2 We will take the steps necessary to prevent the diversion of those
medicines away from the countries or regions for which they were
intended. We call on recipient governments to do the same and we
undertake to provide technical support to assist them to do so. We
will not use the preferential prices offered to the developing world
as benchmarks for pharmaceutical products on our own markets.

3.3 To address the practical problems faced by developing countries
with no or insufficient manufacturing capacities, we note that,
pending a WTO solution, many of us have instituted moratoria on
challenging any Member of the WTO that, according to the scope and
modalities defined in their respective moratoria, would want to export
to a country in need medicines produced under compulsory license for
addressing public health crises, including those relating to HIV/AIDS,
tuberculosis and malaria and other epidemics. We direct our ministers
and officials, working urgently with WTO partners, to establish a
multilateral solution in the WTO to address the problems faced by
these countries, rebuilding the confidence of all parties, before the
Cancun Ministerial.

4. Fighting Diseases Mostly Affecting Developing Countries
We will encourage research into diseases affecting mostly developing
countries.

4.1 In order to expand the development of effective, safe and
affordable drugs for diseases affecting mostly developing countries
("neglected diseases"), we are committed to seeking ways to support
world-wide the development of research on health technologies for
prevention (including vaccines), control, treatment and cure for these
diseases. In particular we will:
" work with developing countries to increase their own ability to
contribute to research and development on these diseases, including to
create incentives and the necessary regulatory systems to support
ethical and safe clinical trials;
" encourage research into these diseases, in our countries too,
including by providing appropriate incentives;
" continue to support work already underway in the non-governmental
sector.

4.2 We will encourage relevant international organisations to keep the
situation under active review.

5. Eradicating polio
We will work to fully eradicate this disease.

5.1 Efforts to eradicate polio have made good progress. But a limited
number of countries still register cases.

5.2 In keeping with our pledge at Kananaskis to provide, on a fair and
equitable basis, sufficient resources to eradicate polio by 2005, we
have pledged an additional US$ 500 million and remain committed to
playing our full part to ensure that the remaining funding gap is
closed.

6. Confronting the threat of SARS
We will work together and with others to contain this disease.

6.1 The spread of SARS demonstrates the importance of global
collaboration, including global disease surveillance, laboratory,
diagnostic and research efforts, and prevention, care, and treatment.

6.2 Strengthening international co-operation is key to containing,
treating and eventually eradicating this disease. The measures that we
take at national levels to effectively handle SARS will benefit from
us working together.

6.3 We will continue to work closely with the World Health
Organisation, to undertake research and investigation at a high level
and to develop appropriate means of international co-operation.

(end text)

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)
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