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Access and Innovation for Health Technologies: A Regional Platform for the Americas

Editorial: PAHO/WHO eHealth Newsletter Vol. 2 No. 2

 

PAHO/WHO is actively working to promote innovation in health technologies in the Americas. Intrinsically linked with innovation is the goal of improving access to essential medicines, biologicals, and diagnostics in all Member States. To better achieve this goal, we developed the Regional Platform on Access and Innovation for Health Technologies (PRAIS). This Platform is composed of a series of virtual tools used to support and promote innovation, access, rational use, and governance in the area of essential medicines, biologicals and diagnostics from a public health perspective.

PAHO/WHO launched PRAIS on May 7th, 2012. Member countries played a central role in the development of the Platform and PAHO/WHO presented the working proposal in a series of consultation meetings that brought together the national health authorities and partners at national, regional and international levels. The initiative received the support from key partners including 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.

PRAIS aims at promoting and supporting innovation, access, rational use, and good governance in the area of health technologies with a public health perspective and to serve regional health priorities. Relying on non-biased, evidence-based information on health technologies and innovation, it offers an up-to-date one stop access to indicators and other critical data on health technology and innovation sectors’ policies and regulations that will help monitor regional performance and supports decision makers in developing policies on innovation and health that are in line with public health interests.

PRAIS stakeholders include all sectors involved in access and innovation including the active engagement of regulatory systems and processes, as innovation and access cannot be ensured without the development of regulatory systems that facilitate the necessary improvements in regulatory sciences, in access modalities, inter-country cooperation and interaction with stakeholders common to all areas: industry, academia and civil society.

The overall scope of the platform is aligned with the priorities specified in the Health Agenda for the Americas  and includes access to essential medicines and other health technologies, pharmaceutical and health technologies policies, quality and regulation of health technologies, research, development, and technological innovation for health, rational use of Medicines and intellectual property management.

The Platform was developed by integrating four key components: social networks, the observatory, skills development, and information resources.  The Innovation Forum, a space to promote cooperation on health technologies innovation, and the Antiretroviral inventory, which aims to improve ARV acquisitions and management in Latin America and the Caribbean, are also tools available in the Platform.

PRAIS should remain a dynamic instrument that responds to users’ public health needs and demands. PRAIS should support the collaboration between all stakeholders to ensure universal access to essential health technologies for the people of the Americas.

 

EDITORIAL BY:

Analía Porras, Advisor, Technological Innovation for Health
James Fitzgerald, Senior Advisor, Essential Medicines and Biologicals
Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization

 

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