On Monday May 6, 2019, the Union for Affordable Cancer Treatment (UACT) submitted a letter to the Minister of Health urging Canada’s support of a proposed resolution on transparency to be discussed that the Seventy-second World Health Assembly this May. The proposed resolution provides a strong global mandate to expand the transparency of pricing, R&D costs, intellectual property rights and medical outcomes, for life-saving medical technologies. Currently, the resolution has garnered ten co-sponsors.

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Text of the letter sent to the Minister of Health of Canada follows below.


The Honorable Ginette C. Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health
Government of Canada
Address Locator 0900C2
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K9

May 6, 2019

Dear Minister Petitpas Taylor,

As the Government of Canada undertakes its preparations for the Seventy-second World Health Assembly to be held May 20-28, 2019 at the United Nations in Geneva, we urge support of the proposed resolution, “Improving the transparency of markets for drugs, vaccines, and other health-related technologies” (see attachment).

The resolution would empower the World Health Organization and encourage WHO Member States to gather crucial data that will inform proposals for reforming the current health technology market in order to both increase access to medicines, vaccines, diagnostics, and emerging cell- and gene-therapies, and to ensure that incentives and funding mechanisms for R&D are cost-effective and efficient regarding innovation objectives.

In order to develop lasting solutions to the growing crisis of high drug prices, Member States must have a clear picture of the prices, R&D costs and incentives that currently shape medical technology markets. As it stands today, nearly everything about the markets for pharmaceutical drugs, vaccines, and cell- and gene-therapies is clouded by policy-induced fog of secrecy.

The proposed resolution will provide the WHO and Member State governments with strong mandates to collect, publish and analyze data on private and public sector investments in R&D, clinical trial outcomes, patent landscapes, and both prices and units sold for life saving technologies. The resolution would also create forums for progressively enhancing and expanding transparency. These measures are needed to obtain the evidence to inform governments as they design reforms to both increase access to medicines domestically and worldwide, and to provide for sustainable funding for innovation.

We strongly urge you to support this important resolution. Thank you for your consideration of these critical issues.


Manon Ress
Founder and Acting Director,
Union for Affordable Cancer Treatment