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WHO Introduces Health Technology Access Pool to Enhance Global Health Product Access

Written by : Jayati Dubey

February 2, 2024

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HTAP aims to enhance access to health products, addressing public health priorities, including pandemic preparedness, both during and beyond health emergencies.

In a recent development, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has launched the Health Technology Access Pool (HTAP), succeeding the COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) initiated in May 2020.

C-TAP, a collaborative effort between WHO, the Government of Costa Rica, and other partners, aimed to facilitate worldwide equitable and affordable access to COVID-19 health products.

C-TAP played a vital role in creating a platform for technology partners to voluntarily share intellectual property, knowledge, and data, fostering innovation and expanding access to COVID-19 tools.

Despite the challenges faced during the pandemic, C-TAP secured six transparent, non-exclusive global licences involving 15 technologies, spanning research and development tools, diagnostics, and vaccines.

HTAP builds upon the foundation laid by C-TAP, incorporating structural, process, and other changes to enhance its effectiveness in attracting and supporting a diverse range of priority technologies.

The goal is to promote more equitable access to essential health products globally through the sharing of intellectual property, knowledge, and scientific innovation.

Key Objectives of HTAP

HTAP aims to focus on promoting access to health products aligned with public health priorities, including pandemic preparedness and will remain relevant during and outside health emergencies.

By sharing intellectual property and fostering innovation, HTAP aims to amplify the public health value of its investments and increase the attractiveness of licensed technologies to recipient manufacturers. This approach is expected to create more significant market opportunities and ensure financial sustainability.

On the launch, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, said, "Equitable access to essential health products is an essential part of universal health coverage and of global health security. Building on what we have learned from C-TAP, the Health Technology Access Pool is an important step towards more equitable access to a broad range of health products through the sharing of intellectual property, knowledge and scientific innovation."

In the first quarter of 2024, WHO plans to publish additional details on how HTAP will operate and the specific technologies it will target. The official launch of HTAP is scheduled for the second quarter of 2024.

In the interim, WHO will apply the principles and approach described above to evaluate opportunities for securing health technologies and expanding regional or global production capacity.

The announcement highlighted a specific example of HTAP's approach through the licensing of a rapid diagnostic test platform technology. This serves as a practical demonstration of how HTAP aims to align with public health priorities and enhance access to critical health products.

With the transition from C-TAP to HTAP, WHO aims to commit to addressing global health challenges through collaborative efforts, knowledge sharing, and equitable access to health technologies. It aims to guarantee universal access to vital health technologies, irrespective of geographic location or economic status.

HTAP's focus on pandemic preparedness and its broader approach to public health priorities demonstrate a strategic evolution in supporting health product access for people worldwide. As the details of HTAP's operation unfold, the global health community awaits the official launch, marking a significant step towards fostering innovation and ensuring fair and inclusive access to essential health products.

In another development, last month, WHO issued guidance addressing the ethical and governance challenges associated with Large Multi-Modal Models (LMMs), a rapidly advancing form of generative AI technology.

With applications across the healthcare sector, the guidance provides over 40 recommendations for governments, technology companies, and healthcare providers to ensure the responsible and beneficial deployment of LMMs.

About Chime India

The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) is an executive organization dedicated to serving senior digital health leaders. CHIME includes more than 5,000 members in 56 countries and two US territories and partners with over 150 healthcare IT businesses and professional services firms. CHIME enables its members and business partners to collaborate, exchange ideas, develop professionally and advocate the effective use of information management to improve the health and care throughout the communities they serve. CHIME's members are chief information officers (CIOs), chief medical information officers (CMIOs), chief nursing information officers (CNIOs), chief innovation officers (CIOs), chief digital officers (CDOs), and other senior healthcare leaders. The CHIME India Chapter became the first international chapter outside North America in 2016 and is now a community of over 70+ members in India. For more information, please visit


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