Aug 232016
 
(cc) rakka

(cc) rakka

[Marcus Low, Business Day, Link] It is often argued that weakening patent monopolies on pharmaceuticals will lead to fewer new medicines being discovered. Whether this is indeed the case, and to what extent, is one of the key questions that must be addressed by a UN high-level panel convened to consider the “policy incoherence between the justifiable rights of inventors, global human rights law, trade rules and public health”.

One of the difficulties faced by the panel, and by any policy maker, is the lack of transparency in relation to drug development. Firms generally disclose little detail about what they spend on research and development (R&D) for new medicines.

Click here for the full op-ed in Business Day Live

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Aug 152016
 

wipo logoChina joins the ranks of the world’s 25 most-innovative economies, while Switzerland, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Finland and Singapore lead the 2016 rankings in the Global Innovation Index, released today by Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

China’s top-25 entry marks the first time a middle-income country has joined the highly developed economies that have historically dominated the top of the Global Innovation Index (GII) throughout its nine years of surveying the innovative capacity of 100-plus countries across the globe. China’s progression reflects the country’s improved innovation performance as well as methodological considerations such as improved innovation metrics in the GII. Continue reading »

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Jul 242016
 
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(cc-by-nc-nd) – Rakka

Letter from 56 Non-profit Organizations and Academic Experts to Secretary Kerry Regarding State Department Pressure Against Access to Medicines Efforts [PDF]

July 20, 2016

Dear Secretary Kerry: We are writing to express our concern about recent statements made by representatives of the State Department on issues regarding intellectual property (IP) and access to medicines in various settings, including proceedings in Colombia, several important United Nations fora, and in India. Continue reading »

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Jul 202016
 

Thank you 1STOP AIDS Press Release
Contact: Diarmaid@stopaids.org.uk
July 19, 2016, Durban

At the 2016 International AIDS Conference held in Durban, South Africa, treatment access advocates presented a huge greeting card addressed to President Obama from Big Pharma to US Ambassador Patrick Gaspard, thanking the US government for “doing big pharma’s bidding all over the world”.

The activists, acting in the role of Big Pharma execs, sang “we want to thank you, thank you” and chanted “USA! USA!” They lavished praise on the Ambassador for the US pursuit of the interests of the pharmaceutical industry at the expense of access to affordable medicines, including pressuring India to curtail its legal generic medicine industry, and attacks on an initiative of the UN Secretary General to address access to medicine challenges. Continue reading »

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Jul 142016
 

tHoen coverThe following is an excerpt from the introduction to Private Patents and Public Health, by Ellen ‘t Hoen.  The full book is available online under a Creative Commons License here.

Millions of people around the world do not have access to the medicines they need to treat disease or alleviate suffering. Strict patent regimes interfere with widespread access to medicines by creating monopolies that maintain medicines prices well beyond the reach of those who need them.

The magnitude of the AIDS crisis in the late nineties brought this to the public’s attention when millions of people in developing countries died from an illness for which medicines existed, but were not available or affordable. Faced with an unprecedented health crisis—8,000 people dying daily—the public health community launched an unprecedented global effort that eventually resulted in the large-scale availability of quality generic HIV medicines and a steady scale-up in access to those medicines. This has allowed nearly 13 million people to lead longer, healthier lives. However, trends in international intellectual property law could impact many of the policy tools used to scale up HIV treatment. Continue reading »

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Jul 052016
 

wipo logoWIPO Press Release, Link
Geneva, June 30, 2016
PR/2016/792

Canada today became the key 20th nation to accede to the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled, which will bring the Treaty into force in three month’s time on September 30, 2016. Continue reading »

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Jul 032016
 

ipw-logo[Catherine Saez, IP Watch, Link (CC-BY-NC-SA)] A resolution on access to medicines proposed by a number of developing countries was adopted today by the United Nations Human Rights Council, as well as a resolution on enhancing capacity-building in public health. This marks yet another United Nations fora in which developing countries seek to raise the issue of access to medicines, particularly with regard to high prices. Continue reading »

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Jun 202016
 

ictsd-160pxThe WTO’s Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Council discussed the topic of e-commerce last week for the first time since 2003, sources said, during a 7-8 June meeting in Geneva. Other topics on the meeting’s agenda included sustainable resources and low emission technology strategies, and the perennial issues of non-violation complaints and the relationship between the TRIPS agreement and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). In addition, the EU presented its new Trade Mark Directive and Trade Mark Regulation, which raised concerns with some members over possible restrictions on the transport of generic medicines through the 28-nation bloc’s borders.

Click here for the full story on ictsd.org.

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May 162016
 

sean - 150x150I am speaking on behalf of the American University Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property. And I speak as an educator myself and also on behalf of a larger network that I coordinate called the Global Expert Network on User Rights which is a network of educators.

Although I teach in a Northern school in Washington, D.C., I also spent some time teaching in a major university in South Africa where the context of access to educational materials is very different. When I taught an advanced constitutional class there of 70 students, only about five or six of the students could purchase the learning materials, the textbooks we were using for that class. The rest of them after each day would huddle in the library and attempt to share and read the copies that were on reserve in that space. And that’s the reality around much of the world – text books are priced similarly in poor countries and rich countries, but because of the disparities in income, students in poor countries cannot afford their learning texts. Continue reading »

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May 062016
 

eiflEIFL campaign to mark UNESCO World Book & Copyright Day and WIPO World Intellectual Property Day 2016

[Teresa Hackett, Electronic Information for Libraries, Link (CC-BY)] In the digital environment, librarians deal with questions of copyright every day. But restrictive copyright laws can hinder the library’s efforts to provide access to knowledge. Two global copyright days – UNESCO’s World Book & Copyright Day that took place on 23 April, and WIPO’s World Intellectual Property Day on 26 April – presented a great opportunity to highlight the work that librarians in the EIFL network do to overcome copyright restrictions and serve library users.

We marked the two days with a social media campaign, which also featured EIFL’s wide range of multi-language resources on copyright, and showed how librarians in EIFL partner countries are using the resources to advance their work. Continue reading »

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May 032016
 

colombia flag - better croppingPresented by the Colombian civil society organizations: Ifarma Foundation, Misión Salud and CIMUN

Dear Mr. Bhanu Pratap Sharma, Chairman.

We would like to transmit to you and all assistants our best wishes for the success of this session, where governments, intergovernmental bodies and non-state actors are trying to get one step closer on mechanisms that will address the well known inefficiencies of the R&D model based on monopoly prices, inefficiencies that have caused innumerable harmful effects on people’s health and well-being.

But we need to put under your consideration, and the consideration of delegates and assistants, a special situation we are currently facing that reflects both the urgency and the interests that are preventing nations from reaching a global solution promptly. Continue reading »

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Mar 242016
 

who-logo[World Health Organization, Link] Summary: Intellectual property plays an important role both for the researching pharmaceutical industry, which relies heavily on intellectual property to protect its products, and for generic companies, which produce copies of existing medicines once patent protection expires. Beyond patent protection, trademarks are another form of intellectual property rights used to identify and market pharmaceutical products. Trade secrets and protection of clinical test data are other important elements of this industry. Consequently, how a national intellectual property system is set up is important when considering options for local production of pharmaceuticals in developing countries. Continue reading »

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