MAPGuideⓇ: Equitable Access Toolkit
How do we approach best practice?One of the most frequent questions we hear from the funder and PDP community is: “What are the best practice provisions that should be included in product R&D funding agreements?” However, instead of focusing on universal best practice language for agreements, GHIAA believes that best practice for product development funding agreements is ensuring that all issues that might have an impact on achieving the intended equitable access outcomes of the agreement have been considered and addressed as appropriate. The “Equitable Access Pyramid” shown below is a tool to aid such best practice approaches by presenting key building blocks for the translation of an equitable access policy into meaningful and measurable agreement provisions. Decisions as to which of these blocks should be addressed in a specific agreement and how, must take into account the type, stage of development and intended end users of the funded product.
The Equitable Access Pyramid
Equitable Access Objectives
Click on a block in the pyramid to read more
‘Ideal’ and ‘must have’ provisionsAgreement negotiations depend on the relative negotiating leverage of each party, and flexibility will be required to reach a set of provisions that both parties can accept. When considering the blocks in the Equitable Access Pyramid, it is important for organizations to identify the ‘must have’ obligations which will enable the achievement of their equitable access goals. Provided that ‘must haves’ can be negotiated, then arriving at a signed agreement that does not contain all of a funder’s ‘ideal’ obligations does not mean that it will fail at achieving its goals, particularly if the alternative is no agreement and therefore no progress towards developing a product at all. However, funders and PDPs should identify milestones and metrics that enable them to demonstrate the impact of the negotiated agreement provisions on equitable access to the funded product. Organizations should also consider maintaining records of how the blocks in the Equitable Access Pyramid were negotiated and addressed in signed agreements, including the rationale for accepting any variations from template or ‘ideal’ terms. This experience can then be leveraged to accelerate agreement negotiations in the future, minimizing the resource costs associated with protracted negotiations and shortening timelines for the commencement of product R&D activities.
The value of increased transparencyGHIAA advocates for greater transparency of agreement terms and outcomes to facilitate future negotiations and the development of common approaches across the field. Organizations within the global health community can support each other in achieving their equitable access goals by sharing the approaches that they have successfully taken to address the topics outlined in the Equitable Access Pyramid. While many provisions need to be specific to the context of an agreement, increased transparency of the approaches taken by different product development funders can contribute to the creation of certain equitable access norms or standards that product developers should expect to be attached to public or philanthropic funding. The development of this shared understanding can have an impact on the speed and efficiency of future agreement negotiations, as well as facilitating the implementation of these agreements by creating a more streamlined set of obligations with which product developers must comply, and for funders, PDPs and other stakeholders to monitor and evaluate.
This toolkit has been built based on the data in the MAPGuide and the GHIAA team’s experience of negotiating and implementing agreements. We intend that the toolkit will evolve and expand over time based on input from MAPGuide users and availability of new agreements showing examples of alternative approaches. We welcome ongoing constructive dialogue around these materials and encourage you to contact us or fill in our feedback survey to share your thoughts, questions and suggestions.
Authors: Bridie Telford, Julia Barnes-Weise
First publication date: November 21, 2022
Last updated: December 9, 2022