WHO introduces health technology access pool (HTAP)

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In a landmark initiative aimed at promoting global health equity, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced the launch of the Health Technology Access Pool (HTAP), representing a significant advancement from the COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP).

Initiated in May 2020, C-TAP was a collaborative effort between WHO, the Government of Costa Rica, and other partners with the objective of ensuring fair and affordable access to COVID-19 health products across the globe. Furthermore, the platform facilitated the voluntary sharing of intellectual property, knowledge, and data among technology partners, thereby accelerating technological innovation and expanding access to critical COVID-19 tools in various countries.

Despite encountering challenges in establishing a novel mechanism during a global pandemic with limited resources, C-TAP achieved noteworthy milestones. It successfully secured six transparent, non-exclusive global licenses encompassing 15 technologies, spanning research and development (R&D) tools, diagnostics, and vaccines. Notably, these licenses included contributions from private manufacturers, marking a significant stride towards fostering collaboration in the health technology space.

HTAP builds on C-TAP, enhancing its effectiveness with structural and process changes. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stressed equitable health product access’s significance. It’s pivotal for universal health coverage and global health security. HTAP’s introduction signifies progress in addressing these priorities.

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Promoting WHO public health priorities

HTAP is poised to promote access to health products aligned with public health priorities, including pandemic preparedness. This strategic approach not only amplifies the public health value of HTAP investments but also enhances the attractiveness of licensed technologies to recipient manufacturers. By creating greater market opportunities and ensuring financial sustainability, HTAP aims to facilitate broader access to innovative health solutions worldwide.

Looking ahead, WHO will provide detailed insights into HTAP’s operational framework and targeted technologies in the first quarter of 2024. The official launch of HTAP is set for the second quarter of 2024, marking a milestone. During this period, WHO evaluates opportunities to secure health technologies and expand capacity. Additionally, this approach emphasizes equitable access to health products. HTAP’s launch addresses public health priorities and ensures global security.

The unveiling of HTAP by the World Health Organization heralds a new era of collaboration and innovation in the health technology domain. HTAP incorporates lessons from C-TAP and strategic enhancements to address public health priorities, especially during emergencies.

Focusing on global health equity, HTAP facilitates access to essential health products. It marks a pivotal step toward a more resilient healthcare ecosystem globally.

 

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