Uniting Efforts for Innovation, Access and Delivery, is a platform that aims to improve the innovation, access and delivery of medicines, vaccines, diagnostics and other health technologies for unmet health needs in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

The first meeting took place in Bangkok, Thailand in January 2019, at the invitation of the Government of Japan, the UNDP-led Access and Delivery Partnership (ADP) and the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT Fund), and included 100 representatives from biomedical, funder, innovator and access constituencies. 

The report of that meeting: Uniting Efforts for Innovation, Access and Delivery: A Global Dialogue Meeting reportoutlines the outcomes and the partner’s hopes for the future. 

The innovation, access and delivery chain

In an ideal world, the innovation, access and delivery chain, begins with research, to address a specific health need and ends with the resulting solution reaching the people who need it most. Despite significant advances in both innovation and expanding access to health technologies, the entire chain is a complex system, where any one of the multiple decisions, actors and institutional interactions, may create a challenge or significant impact elsewhere in the system. This means that often, when new prevention, diagnosis or treatment technologies are developed, they remain out of reach to patients. 

The underlying complexity across the innovation, access and delivery continuum can lead to fragmentation of goals and strategies, emergence of operational silos, and misalignment of understanding, knowledge and incentives, which together impede overall progress. Poor alignment and coordination between the three segments of the chain can also act as a disincentive to investment, and further weaken returns and opportunities for success in reaching people in need.

The 2030 Agenda

Many key roadmaps for the scale up of interventions to achieve the health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) underscore the need to increase coordination between these stakeholders, yet, until now, there have been limited opportunities to discuss common challenges and needs, and to jointly identify solutions. 

To achieve the 2030 Agenda, including Universal Health Coverage (UHC), it is imperative that key actors, across the innovation, access and delivery chain, explore new ways to work together. 

The first dialogue

The participants in this first dialogue were purposefully selected to represent the three groups of actors – innovation, access and delivery – each with unique perspectives and roles. The inaugural meeting aimed to promote conversation and collaboration between these key stakeholders, especially for NTDs, malaria and tuberculosis (TB) – diseases that impede human and economic development among the world’s poorest populations.

Discussions centred on challenges, opportunities and lessons learned around financing, integrating patient-focused research and development (R&D) and country preparedness for access and delivery. 

A Global Dialogue Meeting Report

The 24-page report outlines the themes of discussions that took place and states that, while this first dialogue was to a large extent, experimental, a good degree of ‘listening to understand’ and unity were seen. Feedback received from participants showed a commitment to the continuation of the platform and to finding solutions to the issues that persist, with one participant saying; We need a ‘deeper dive’ into how to foster an effective ‘end-to-end’ approach.

The report notes that aligning incentives for non-profit and for-profit actors, as well as promoting trust through transparency, ownership and dialogue will be critical to the platform’s successful development. 

What next?

Uniting Efforts for Innovation, Access and Delivery presents the first opportunity of its kind for stronger collaboration, learning and coordination among different actors and stakeholders at all levels across the entire innovation, access and delivery value chain. 

The three organizing partners are committed to supporting the continuation and expansion of this new space for exchange of perspectives, with a focus on driving and achieving concrete outcomes for patients. Continuing dialogue among initial participants – and other key stakeholders – will take place in further conversations in the future.

The collective hope is that the platform will drive better coordinated approaches, which will further the aim of accelerating progress towards the 2030 goals and ensure that new health products can be accessed as efficiently and effectively as possible by the people in most need.