Health Technology Access Pool (HTAP) by the WHO

By Danélia Botes

February 19, 2024

WHO’s Health Technology Access Pool

The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently announced the Health Technology Access Pool (HTAP). This serves as a successor to the COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP). This initiative marks a significant step towards more equitable access to a broad range of health products. The aim is to enhance global health security.

From C-TAP to HTAP: A Journey of Evolution

Launched in May 2020, C-TAP was a collaborative effort between WHO, the Government of Costa Rica, and other partners. This platform was instrumental in providing a forum for technology partners to share intellectual property, knowledge, and data voluntarily. Despite the challenges of establishing a novel mechanism amidst a pandemic, C-TAP managed to secure six transparent, non-exclusive global licences involving 15 technologies that span research and development (R&D) tools, diagnostics, and vaccines.

Building on C-TAP’s Foundation

HTAP is built on the foundation laid by C-TAP but incorporates structural, process, and other changes to attract and support a diverse range of priority technologies more effectively. It aims to promote access to health products that respond to public health priorities, including pandemic preparedness, and are relevant during and outside health emergencies.

Amplifying Public Health Value

HTAP investments will amplify the public health value and increase the attractiveness of licensed technologies to recipient manufacturers. This approach will realise 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.

The Future of HTAP: Awaiting Further Details

In the first quarter of 2024, WHO will publish further details on how HTAP will operate and the technologies it will target. Plans are in place to officially launch HTAP in 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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