12 May 2016 - 16:15

Access to innovation for all: Is it possible?

Co-hosted by PATH and Medicines for Malaria Ventures

Monday, 23 May, 17:30-19:00

(Reception immediately following)

Venue: Auditorium A2, The Graduate Institute

Maison de la Paix, Chemin Eugène-Rigot 2, 1202 Geneva

Please join us at this year’s World Health Assembly for a conversation with product developers on developing and scaling essential
health technologies. This moderated panel discussion will explore the current challenges of incentivising the development of innovative technologies that address the burden of disease globally, specifically poverty related and neglected diseases, while ensuring they are accessible to those most in need. Representatives from industry, academia, and nonprofit product development partnerships will debate the most significant barriers to access, and share successes, challenges, and lessons learned from a product developer’s perspective.


  • Kelly Chibale, Director of H3-D and South Africa Research Chair in drug discovery, University of Cape Town Drug Discovery and Development Centre/ (H3-D)
  • George Jagoe, Executive Vice President Access & Product Management, Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV)
  • David Kaslow, Vice President, Product Development, and Leader, the PATH Center for Vaccine Innovation and Access, PATH
  • Jon Pender, Vice President, Government Affairs, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)
  • Tanya Vogt, Chief Operating Officer, South African Medical Device Industry Association (SAMED)

Moderator:        Joy Phumaphi Executive Secretary, African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA)

Opening remarks:            Susanna Hausmann Ribera, Health Policy Advisor, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)

Susanna Haussmann (Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation)

  • Switzerland is proud to support the development of innovative health technologies poverty-related and neglected diseases while ensuring they are accessible as a donor and political champion.
  • It is just as important that the right tools get developed as they get into the hands of those most in need.

Suggested themes for opening remarks

Joy Phumaphi (Why innovation and access so important in the current moment?)

  • The ambitious Sustainable Development agenda cannot be met by the existing health tools available to us today. As noted by the Lancet Commission on Investing in Health, “transformative innovation”—be that new innovations or adaptations of existing innovations accessible in low- and middle-income countries —will be critical in order to achieve a grand convergence in health.
  • Recent efforts to improve the accessibility to essential health technologies, such as the UN High Level Panel on Access, have focused on the link between intellectual property and pricing. These efforts are laudable and have created the potential for significant change. However the perspectives of product developers have been largely absent from many of these discussions.
  • This panel of product developers will explore the current challenges of incentivizing the development of innovative technologies that address the burden of disease globally, specifically poverty-related and neglected diseases while ensuring they are accessible to those most in need. Panelists from the academic, private and nonprofit sectors will debate the most significant barriers to access, share successes, challenges, and lessons learned from a product developers’ perspective.
  • Introduce speakers by name, title and organization affiliation.

 Introduction of Panelists:

  • Each speaker to give a brief overview of your organization and how your organization contributes to the development and delivery of health technologies (i.e., health priorities, technology pipeline, scope of activities, etc.).

Prof. Kelly Chibale

  • The health innovation landscape in Africa continues to grow but some key challenges– lack of a sustained pipeline, teams with integrated skills, and absence of experienced mentors with pharmaceutical industry experience—remain at academic institutions where much of early stage research is taking place.
  • Basic research should be seen as a continuum—from lab to clinic and likewise from clinic to lab. There is a need to align activities within the value chain of drug discovery, drug development and clinical testing of medicines and not have them fragmented. An integrated approach is critical to accelerate the development of health technologies that will be accessible to those most in need.

George Jagoe (Negotiating access commitments)

  • Product development is a complex, technical, expensive, and time-consuming process, particularly for products for diseases of poverty, where market returns are very small or non-existent, and thus where a clear market incentive is insufficient to attract the major pharmaceutical players.

David Kaslow (Understanding the complexity of the problem)

  • Access challenges are rarely “single failure” issues, such as intellectual property or affordability—they are often the result of interrelated, compounding challenges at global, national and subnational levels.
  • Developing the right technology is not enough. Developers like PATH and our partners must address a range of issues that support and facilitate sustainable access to health technologies, such as enabling regulatory and policy environments, well-functioning markets and strong health systems.

Jon Pender (Evolving the business model)

  • GSK is evolving its business model to ensure we are investing in innovation and making those innovation accessible to those in need. We will invest in R&D to discover and develop medicines and vaccines to meet unmet needs. We will then seek a return on that investment, and measure our commercial success, by providing access to those products for as many people as possible.
  • Pricing of medicines must balance the needs of multiple stakeholders. We aim to strike a fair and appropriate balance between the need to reward innovation with the broader cost expectations of payers and other stakeholders

Tanya Vogt (Demonstrating value to manufacturers)

  • SAMED’s mandate is to develop a sustainable medical device industry in South Africa by responsibly improving patient access to innovative health technology. Access is fundamental to our business approach.
  • Manufacturers must understand their niche in the local market to incentivize their investment—which may include expensive and time consuming upgrades to meet international standards that not enforced locally. Manufacturers are often the regulatory sponsors and therefore assume much of the late stage risk, so they must understand the added value that they bring to enable them to invest the time, effort, and expense.

 Suggested Moderator Questions to the Panel

  • One to two question for each panelist allowing 5 minutes total response time per panelist.
  • After all panelists have answered their questions, the moderator facilitates discussion among panelists (should feel free pose questions to one another).
  • Audience Q&A.
  • Each panelist gives 2-minute closing remarks.
  • Moderator gives 2-minute wrap-up.

Prof. Kelly Chibale 

  • All too often in the global health R&D field, access issues are not considered a priority until the technology has completed proof of concept. How do you think about access at the earliest stages of the value chain?

George Jagoe or David Kaslow:

  • Product Development Partnerships (PDPs) are a platform for sharing scientific and financial risks across sectors and expertise, to target poverty related and neglected research. How do PDPs negotiate access commitments with their partners throughout the lifecycle of a project?

George Jagoe

  • Generic companies have been seen as opening the door to broader access, most famously in the last 15 years for ARV uptake in Africa. How does MMV as an innovation focused PDP find space to work with generic companies as well?

David Kaslow

  • PATH has been advancing vaccines, diagnostics, medicines, and medical devices across a spectrum of diseases and health conditions for almost 40 years. And in that time PATH has helped to bring numerous products to scale. How do access challenges and solutions differ across types of technologies (diagnostics vs. vaccine) and market segmentation (public and private buyers)?

Jon Pender:

  • GSK has been a leader among multinational pharmaceutical companies in evolving your approach to improve access and lower the costs of R&D for diseases of poverty. Please describe some of the new business models that GSK and others are adopting to address a health and sustainability challenges.
  • In response to the Ebola outbreak, the collaborative approach undertaken by industry was unprecedented. What are the key lessons we can learn from the Ebola outbreak? And can they be repeated or was this an outlier event?

Tanya Vogt:

  • When trying to ensure a secure supply from an economics perspective, the supplier base should be competitive and diversified. Local manufacturers might not be the only suppliers meeting global demand. Given the costs associated with navigating the regulatory environment and ensuring supply, how do local manufacturers achieve affordability of the products while ensuring sustainability of their businesses?


  • Recognizing that need does not translate to demand, how do your organizations approach market strengthening and health systems strengthening to support access to essential health technologies?
  • How do market factors other than IP or pricing, such as quality assurance, supply chain management, and demand generation impact your organization’s access strategy?