WHO introduces the Health Technology Access Pool

OV Digital Desk

Geneva, 31 January 2023: The World Health Organization (WHO) announces the Health Technology Access Pool (HTAP) as the successor to the COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP).

C-TAP was launched in May 2020 by WHO, the Government of Costa Rica and other partners to facilitate equitable and affordable access to COVID-19 health products for people in all countries. The platform provided a much-needed forum for technology partners to voluntarily share intellectual property, knowledge, and data in order to accelerate technological innovation and expand access to COVID-19 tools.

Despite the challenges faced in establishing a novel mechanism during a pandemic with limited resources, C-TAP secured 6 transparent, non-exclusive global licenses involving 15 technologies that span R&D tools, diagnostics, and vaccines –  including the first from a private manufacturer. HTAP builds on the foundation laid by C-TAP while incorporating structural, process and other changes that will enable it to attract and support a diverse range of priority technologies more effectively.

“Equitable access to essential health products is an essential part of universal health coverage, and of global health security,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “Building on what we have learned from C-TAP, the Health Technology Access Pool is an important step towards more equitable access to a broad range of health products through the sharing of intellectual property, knowledge, and scientific innovation.”

HTAP will promote access to health products that respond to public health priorities including pandemic preparedness and with relevance during and outside health emergencies. This approach will amplify the public health value of HTAP investments as well as the attractiveness of licensed technologies to recipient manufacturers by realizing greater market opportunities and financial sustainability. The announcement on the licensing of a rapid diagnostic test platform technology serves as an example of such an approach.

Later in the first quarter of 2024, WHO will publish further details on how HTAP will operate and the technologies it will target.

The official launch of HTAP is planned for the second quarter of 2024.  In the interim, WHO will adopt the principles and approach described above in evaluating opportunities to secure health technologies and expand regional or global production capacity.

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