The Knowledge Network for Innovation and Access to Medicines launched a new online tool providing open-access information, research and analysis on policies relating to pharmaceutical innovation and access. The Knowledge Portal aims to make existing knowledge more widely-available and easily accessible to researchers, advocates, practitioners and policymakers to improve globally-equitable access to medicines. It is a project of the Global Health Centre, supported by a grant of the Open Society Foundations.
The Knowledge Portal brings four main resources: research syntheses, data sources, list of research gaps and webinars. The resources are divided into three interrelated themes: Pricing, Intellectual Property and Innovation, and cover a range of related topics.
The research syntheses provide a concise, comprehensive overview of the current state of research on a specific topic, covering the main studies in the academic literature, with efforts to cover the grey literature as well. Currently, the Portal offers syntheses of the state of research on 17 topics, such as tiered pricing, competition law, shortages and public funding of R&D, with further topics in progress. The research syntheses are living documents; they will undergo open peer review and be periodically updated to incorporate feedback and new research.
In addition to the research syntheses, the Knowledge Portal has a section on data sources to find further information related to innovation and access to medicines issues. Data sources include information on medicines prices, pharmaceutical company policies, patent information, R&D costs & funding, and clinical trials.
Another resource provided is a synthesized list of research gaps identified in the current knowledge database. The “Research Gaps” list was drawn from a combination of data sources gathered in 2018-19: literature reviews synthesizing the existing knowledge base, in-person research meetings, and expert opinion. Under each topic are links to further information on the website on relevant literature and/or data sources; however, these resources only partially address the research gaps. The list may be of use to researchers, students or research funders.
Finally, the Portal announces upcoming webinars presented by leading medicines policy researchers in the series organised by the Knowledge Network, and houses recordings of previous webinars. The webinars aim to make recent, policy-relevant research more accessible to a global public audience, and to bring questions from communities of policy & practice to researchers.
The Knowledge Portal is intended to be a collaborative tool. Comments and information about additional research and data sources, as well as suggestions for the webinar series, are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.