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The United Nations Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines is calling for contributions by interested stakeholders that address the misalignment between the rights of inventors, international human rights law, trade rules and public health where it impedes the innovation of and access to health technologies.

In particular the High-Level Panel will consider contributions that promote research, development, innovation and increase access to medicines, vaccines, diagnostics and related health technologies to improve the health and wellbeing of all, as envisaged by Sustainable Development Goal 3, and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development more broadly.

Open date: 21 December 2015

Close date: 28 February 2016

What will the High-Level Panel be considering?

The High-Level Panel is inviting contributions that address the policy incoherence in relation to the rights of inventors, international human rights law, trade rules, and public health objectives including increased access to medicines, vaccines, diagnostics and medical devices (‘health technologies’). In accordance with Sustainable Development Goal 3, and the integrated nature of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, contributions are not limited to any specific set of countries or any diseases.

Submitted contributions should be:

  • evidence-informed and include references to the principles, literature and models upon which the contribution is based,

  • reflect, align and demonstrate how it will support the attainment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and in particular, Sustainable Development Goal 3, that aims to improve the health and wellbeing for all, and

  • where applicable, indicate the political, financial or other requirements to the implement of the proposed ideas.

While critical to the attainment of health outcomes, broader issues relating to health systems strengthening and supply chain management fall outside of the scope of the enquiry by the High- Level Panel.

What sort of contributions is the High-Level Panel looking for?

The Panel looks to receive contributions that will enhance and strengthen the promotion of innovation and access to medicines, vaccines and diagnostics. The Panel welcomes contributions of varying ambition and scope – it welcomes contributions that propose the recalibration of existing mechanisms that address the rights of inventors, international human rights law, trade rules, and public health objectives. It also encourages contributions that may be narrower in scope and that propose incremental solutions to the issues outlined above.

How will contributions be evaluated?

The Secretariat of the High-Level Panel at UNDP in collaboration with UNAIDS, and in coordination with the Expert Advisory Group, will short-list contributions against the criteria below:

  • IMPACT ON POLICY COHERENCE: To what extent does the contribution reduce the incoherence in rules between rights of inventors, international human rights laws, trade rules, and public health objectives? Does it address systems-wide incoherence, or does it address a specific aspect?

  • IMPACT ON PUBLIC HEALTH: Explain how the expected results will improve access to health technologies. Explain the significance of the proposal in terms of incentivising innovation to address the health needs of all.

  • ADVANCING HUMAN RIGHTS: To what extent do the contributions incorporate and demonstrate the link to fundamental human rights and the right to health?

  • IMPLEMENTATION: Describe the political, financial and institutional work that would need to be taken to bring the contribution to its expected results. Describe how your contribution advances sustainable health outcomes.

  • EVIDENCE: Contributors are encouraged to submit evidence-informed contributions with references to relevant literature, models and principles on which the contribution is based. This section should also contain potential limitations or ‘negative’ consequences.

How will contributions contribute to the High-Level Panel’s work?

Shortlisted contributors will be invited to present and engage members of the High-Level Panel on their contributions at one of two Hearings, at locations and dates in March 2016 to be advised. The Secretariat will pay for the travel of the individual or in the case of an organization, the travel of up to two authors. The Hearings will be followed by presentations by the contributors at facilitated dialogues with relevant stakeholders including technical experts, patient groups, civil society, industry and governments.

Contributions and the inputs from the hearings and dialogues will be used by the High-Level Panel to make recommendations to the United Nations Secretary-General that are concrete, evidence-based and implementable. The Secretary-General will make the report available to the General Assembly and undertake further action as appropriate.

Why is your contribution important?

The High-Level Panel wants to learn from your ideas and experiences to address the misalignment between the rights of inventors, international human rights law, trade rules and public health objectives where it impedes access to health technologies. This incoherence has been highlighted by the Secretary-General and other experts as a core reason for the challenges experienced in promoting innovation and increasing access to medicines, vaccines, diagnostics and health technologies. The High-Level Panel hopes to hear from all interested parties, including those working on health technologies innovation and access, human rights, law, scientific endeavours and industry. Funding is not being offered to take forward the contribution or idea, though it is hoped that your experience and knowledge will help to shape the future and improve the health and wellbeing of all.

Other Considerations & SUBMISSION:

1) Languages

Contributions are encouraged in any of the six official languages of the UN: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. It should be noted that the Hearings will be conducted in English. Please notify the Secretariat if this may pose a problem for you.

2) Confidentiality of Contributions

All contributions submitted are private, however, shortlisted contributions will be made public on the High-Level Panel’s website, and interrogated openly at the High-Level Panel’s hearings.

3) Deadline

28 February 2016 at 11pm Eastern Standard Time.

4) Submissions:

Send your contributions to:

Online: (preferred)

Submit to the Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel Secretariat  

By Email: 

Email to: Richard Delate, Project Manager, High-Level Panel -

Subject line should be: “Contribution Submission.”



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Submissions should be received by 28 February 2016

Timeframe: Mid-December 2015 - 28 February 2016