HAI Europe report highlights risks related to WHO's and
in public-private partnerships
HAI Europe today published a report examining the public health and political
risks related to public-private 'partnerships'. Based upon the proceedings
of a HAI Europe/BUKO Pharma Kampagne seminar held late last year, the
report evaluates the risks and benefits involved in public-private interactions
and tries to determine why the trend towards partnership has developed
and captured the imagination of public agencies.
To date, HAI believes too little attention has been given to assessing
how these initiatives affect the health and conditions of those they are
meant to help. HAI has questioned if increased interaction with the commercial
sector is a major way forward towards WHO's goal of Health For All. The
global network has called for WHO to demonstrate that the poor directly
benefit from public-private partnerships.
In one week health ministers from around the world will gather in Geneva
for the 54th World Health Assembly. There they will discuss the effects
of WHO's co-operation with the private sector among other topics. During
the meeting, HAI will hold a briefing session for delegates analysing
the consequences of some well-known public-private interactions involving
WHO. It will also call on WHO to strengthen its guidelines on working
with the private sector to better safeguard the organisation's role, responsibility
The seminar's goal was to open the debate on public-private interactions
and determine some of the key issues that need to be more thoroughly examined
by NGOs, public officials and health organisations to assess if such joint
initiatives are a beneficial or ultimately harmful trend. There are many
questions that need to be asked, and more importantly, to be answered.
Critical analysis of the long-term health and political consequences caused
by such public-private ventures is necessary. HAI believes civil society
has a role to play in ensuring that sustainable, responsible solutions
are put forward that meet public health needs and not just corporate agendas.
The report "Public-private
'partnerships': Addressing public health needs or corporate agendas?"
is now available in full text on the HAI website.
For more information about HAI's plans for the World Health Assembly or
to receive copies of its briefing papers on public-private 'partnerships'
or increasing access to essential medicines, contact: