Development Programme’s Plethora of Issues

By EMILY C. SCHEPPEGRELL, Times of India

BOSTON, Mass. (Times of India) — The United Nations Development Programme faces an abundance of issues throughout this conference. Its overall topic revolves around globalization, which comes with a number of subtopics, from access to healthcare (including brand-name medications and profits), food security, workers’ rights, environmental regulations (like measuring carbon emissions), to control of pandemics. So far, the UNDP has begun work tackling each problem in a resolution called D2D, which stands for Develop to Developing. A number of countries including the United Kingdom, Lao PDR, the Netherlands, Bangladesh, Albania, and more are creating the D2D working paper to cover all these issues.

The United Kingdom was working in particular on an in-depth coverage of access to healthcare. Developing nations can buy drugs at an affordable price, if pharmaceuticals decide to sell it to them at a price they can afford to encourage social equity and drug access to further global health. But for pharmaceuticals to offer developing nations easier drug access, they must sell medication to developed countries for a higher price. This becomes a problem when developing nations turn around and resell these drugs for a profit. Delegates from the United Kingdom and other nations explained the topic and its consequences. “For example, I sell it in the developing nation for $10 and then in the developed nation for $25,” the United Kingdom delegate David describes. “The developing nation decides to sell it for $20 back in the market, I start losing sales, markets get distorted, and it makes pharmaceuticals not want to apply this kind of initiative, and that’s a huge, big issue.” The UK plans to help combat this issue by making an amendment to article 6 and article 3 (which covers compulsory licensing). Working with these two amendments and the rest of the committee, they hope to ensure affordable medicine in developing nations.

Partnering with the UK, the Lao delegation believes that in regards to access within the healthcare system, delegates should focus on the production of brand-name medications. “What we are proposing is the distribution of generic medicines,” Joaquin Meija of the Lao delegation stated. “Many people in developed and developing nations do not know generic medicines have the exact same effect as brand name medicines do.” The Lao delegation encourages regional board groups to conduct procedures in order to certify the effects of generic and brand name medicines are the same. “Governments should research generic medicine production…then work organizations can certify that these generic medicines have these effects towards abetting a specific disease.” In this way, the Lao delegation wants to achieve accessible healthcare and medication to all nations.

These delegations have undertaken a great deal of work to find solutions to all of these issues. But the future of their committee is promising. The UK and other nations are creating solutions like STEER (Strategy to Endorse Economic Relations) and LOCUS (Location of Communities with Unhealthy Symptoms). LOCUS aims to identify struggling nations through an evaluation by regional bodies, as a macro approach would not be tailored to each nation’s specific issues. The UNDP is off to an auspicious start towards handling the several issues they have been given in D2D.

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