G7 Leaders Fail to Truly Tackle One of the Biggest Threats to Global Health

NEW YORK/ISE-SHIMA, JAPAN, MAY 27, 2016—While G7 leaders acknowledged during their summit this week that the current system of research and development is failing to deliver innovation and affordable access to medicines and vaccines for people around the world, the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is disappointed that the solutions proposed by the G7 will not address these failures head-on.

MSF issued the following statement from Jeremie Bodin, general director of MSF Japan:

"The laudable aim of universal health coverage is going to be severely hamstrung without investing in approaches to research and development that encourage patients’ needs-based innovation and are not dictated by the perspective of high market profit.

“The G7 declaration supports new investments in research and development, but does so without ensuring such innovation, like new antibiotics, will safeguard access. The G7 has identified access to medicines as a concern, but supports free trade agreements, such as the Trans Pacific Partnership, which is the most harmful trade agreement ever negotiated as related to access to medicines. We hope that by September, ministers will focus on promoting approaches to innovation that guarantee access to affordable medicine.

"Supporting WHO reforms and international funding mechanisms, such as the Contingency Fund for Emergencies, is a positive outcome from the summit, but we need to see words turn to action. The G7’s commitment to offer assistance to 76 countries and regions in prevention and preparedness against public health emergencies is also good to see, as well as support for the newly created WHO Health Emergencies Program. We look forward to seeing real progress between now and the next summit in Italy.”