The Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) will launch the Regional Platform for Access to Health Technologies and Innovation on 7 May 2012. The objective is to improve transparency, information flow, and cooperation among countries of the region in order to promote access, innovation, rational use, and governance of essential drugs, biological medicines, and diagnostics in public health.
The interactive platform encompasses research, development, and innovation for health technologies; pharmaceutical policies and health technologies; access to and rational use of medicines; and regulation and management of intellectual property. It is a tool for health authorities in the Americas; national regulatory authorities; departments of science, technology, and innovation; scientists, researchers, and research institutes; civil society, nongovernmental organizations, and foundations that work with medicines and health technologies; and sectors of the pharmaceutical industry.
The new platform offers a series of virtual tools, including:
- Communities to Share Practices: This instrument enables people and institutions to work together to share and create knowledge about common interests.
- Innovation Forum: The forum is an opportunity to collaborate on solving problems related to health innovations.
- Annotated List of Medicines: This tool contains information on the essential and strategic drugs in use in the region, and will make it possible to examine the list of essential drugs of countries, evidence summaries, and the regulatory status of health technologies.
- Observatory: This instrument provides information on the sectors and processes involved in the development, production, and regulation of health technologies through the use of standardized and periodically updated indicators.
The Regional Platform is a collaboration and integration project of the PAHO/WHO member countries that seeks to improve access to health technologies and innovation. It is based on the following mandates of the PAHO Governing Bodies of PAHO: Access to Medicines; Global Strategy and Plan of Action on Public Health, Innovation, and Intellectual Property; and Strengthening National Regulatory Authorities for Medicines and Biologicals.
The platform will also be integrated with the Virtual Public Health Campus (VPHC) and other resources of PAHO/WHO.
Navigation of the platform will be available in Spanish, English, and Portuguese and coordinated by PAHO, with the collaboration and support of WHO’s Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Ministry of Health of Brazil.