Time to Unveil the Costs of Drugs

 Posted by on June 11, 2017  Comments Off on Time to Unveil the Costs of Drugs
Jun 112017
 

Tabitha Ha, Stop AIDS, Link

In the past month, I joined two major global gatherings for multiple stakeholders, including high-level government representatives, to tackle the issue of high drug prices as well as access to medicines more broadly. What struck me were the overwhelming calls for transparency, as a recognised democratic principle, to underpin the research and development (R&D) of medicines, especially when it comes to the costs of R&D, drug prices and being able to trace public funds involved in R&D.

The Fair Pricing Forum, held by the Netherlands and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in early May was notably attended by many governments from high-income countries who are increasingly struggling with the burden of high drug prices. Later in May, thousands of delegates descended on Geneva for the 70th World Health Assembly, where the debate on access to medicines and R&D continued to rage as part of the formal proceedings and in several side events. Continue reading »

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EU Compromise on Marrakesh Treaty Directive Comes with a Sting in the Tail

 Posted by on May 22, 2017  Comments Off on EU Compromise on Marrakesh Treaty Directive Comes with a Sting in the Tail
May 222017
 

Joint statement by the Internaiontal Federation of Library Associations and the European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations (Link, CC-BY)

IFLA and EBLIDA sincerely wish to be able to welcome wholeheartedly the compromise agreement on the Marrakesh Treaty Directive reached on 10th May by representatives of the Council of Ministers, the Commission and the Parliament. However, together with the European Blind Union, we reject entirely the notion in the agreement that the fundamental public interest activities of non-profit libraries and charities in creating and sharing accessible format books may, in some Member States, give rise to ‘compensation’ to rightholders. Continue reading »

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May 112017
 

Jeremy de Beer, Jeremiah Baarbé, Caroline Ncube
Open AIR Working Paper #4; LINK

Innovation policy is important for economic growth and human development.[1] Countries across Africa are, therefore, developing policy to encourage innovation.[2] Measures that address intellectual property (IP) in a locally relevant way are integral to the broader innovation landscape.

IP policy is complex and controversial because it seeks to balance protection of, and access to, knowledge. Policy that leads to either an absence or overabundance of proprietary IP rights may discourage innovation.[3] Domestic policymakers may look to research showing that strict IP protection economically advantages developed countries while disadvantaging developing countries.[4] Similarly, they may be presented with research supporting a contrary view.[5] Evidence-based IP policy-making is, therefore, not always easy.[6] Continue reading »

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Statement to SCCR 34 on Copyright in the Digital Environment

 Posted by on May 5, 2017  Comments Off on Statement to SCCR 34 on Copyright in the Digital Environment
May 052017
 

World Intellectual Property Organization
34th Meeting of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights
May 5, 2017

Chair: I would like to support that aspect of the GRUAC proposal that focuses on the role of limitations and exceptions in the digital environment as a top priority for this committee.

There is an increasing recognition that so-called non-expressive uses – uses necessary for technological processes that do not compete with the copyright owner – are necessary to enable the internet and the services that are offered over it. Continue reading »

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WHO Members Urged To Support Resolution Delinking Cancer Drug Prices From R&D Costs

 Posted by on May 3, 2017  Comments Off on WHO Members Urged To Support Resolution Delinking Cancer Drug Prices From R&D Costs
May 032017
 

[Catherine Saez, Intellectual Property Watch, Link (CC-BY-NC-SA)] A group of civil society organisations and health experts have sent a letter to delegates to this month’s annual World Health Assembly urging support for a study on the delinkage of the costs of research and development from the prices of cancer medicines. Member states reportedly met on the issue today and are still undecided. Continue reading »

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Statement to SCCR on Educational Exceptions to Copyryight

 Posted by on May 3, 2017  Comments Off on Statement to SCCR on Educational Exceptions to Copyryight
May 032017
 

World Intellectual Property Organization
34th Meeting of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights
May 3, 2017

Chair: You and I are from countries that have educational exceptions that are open to the use of any work, for any education related activity or purpose, and by any user —  subject to a fairness test that takes into account the rights of authors and rights holders.

This openness in the exceptions environment enables innovations that promote access to learning materials, including through new technologies and over the internet. Continue reading »

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Mar 222017
 

[Catherine Saez for IP Watch, Link (CC-BY-NC-SA)] As the ratification by the European Union of an international treaty creating an exception to copyright for visually impaired people nears, a leaked text shows that the directive implementing the treaty in the EU might come with safeguards limiting the scope of the treaty, allegedly pushed by the publishing industry. Continue reading »

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Mar 122017
 

Carlos Correa
South Centre, February 2017
Research Paper #74

IP provisions in FTAs may have implications on a wide range of public policy areas. A vast academic literature has addressed the “flexibilities” available under the TRIPS Agreement and the negative impact of FTAs in relation to access to medicines. Continue reading »

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Multilateral Investment Court impedes Intellectual Property Rights Reform

 Posted by on February 7, 2017  Comments Off on Multilateral Investment Court impedes Intellectual Property Rights Reform
Feb 072017
 

[Reposted from blog.ffii.org]  The following is an excerpt from the full working paper Multilateral Investment Court Assessment Obscures Social and Environmental Impacts, available here

Copyright does not work well in the digital world; the patent system is inefficient. Our societies could benefit from reform. 33 The WTO Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and other international agreements limit possibilities for reform. Expansive interpretation of international treaties would further limit our policy space. Continue reading »

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Feb 022017
 

[Reposted from the Third World Network, Link] The forthcoming 70th World Health Assembly (WHA) will discuss access to medicines including the United Nations Secretary General’s High Level Panel Report on Access to Medicines (UNHLP report).

The inclusion of this agenda item has been a topic for debate and the 140th meeting of the Executive Board of the World Health Organization (WHO) finally agreed to accordingly amend an existing agenda item on shortage of medicines of the 70th WHA that will convene in May this year. Continue reading »

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Candidates for Director-General of the World Health Organization Outline Their Plans for Tackling Unaffordable Medicines and the Lack of Innovation in Priority Areas

 Posted by on January 23, 2017  Comments Off on Candidates for Director-General of the World Health Organization Outline Their Plans for Tackling Unaffordable Medicines and the Lack of Innovation in Priority Areas
Jan 232017
 

[Joint press release from six civil society groups, Link] The six candidates for Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) – of whom one will be elected this May – have published responses to an open letter asking them to make clear their plans for the future of the WHO’s work in promoting a new system of equitable drug R&D. The original open letter was signed by 18 civil society organizations, and titled “Will you support a patient-centred R&D agreement?“. The WHO Executive Board convenes today to begin 9 days of meetings during which the candidates will be interviewed, and up to 3 of the 6 shortlisted for a final vote in May 2017.

The candidates recognised that urgent problems exist in the current system of drug R&D. Dr Douste-Blazy (France) wrote that “past failures to invest in research and development are killing millions today”. Dr Nishtar (Pakistan) recognised “the failure of market mechanisms to incentivise innovation” and asserted that the “WHO already has a strong mandate for action”. Dr Bustreo (Italy) noted that “high prices of health technologies and lagging innovation […] impede people’s access to quality health care”. Continue reading »

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Don’t Go Back on the Deal – IFLA, EIFL and EBLIDA call on EU Member States to Deliver on Marrakesh Treaty Ratification

 Posted by on January 17, 2017  Comments Off on Don’t Go Back on the Deal – IFLA, EIFL and EBLIDA call on EU Member States to Deliver on Marrakesh Treaty Ratification
Jan 172017
 

[Joint Statement] On Monday 16th and Tuesday 17th January, representatives of European governments will discuss draft legislation to implement the Marrakesh Treaty in the European Union (EU).

As IFLA and partner organisations have underlined, this is an opportunity to make a real difference to the lives of people with print disabilities – who cannot pick up and read a book in the same way as everyone else – both in Europe and beyond.

We are, however, aware of efforts to undermine the impact of Marrakesh. This will happen if national governments can oblige libraries and others to pay fees to publishers for making use of their Marrakesh rights, or if they are subject to additional, unnecessary, registration or record-keeping requirements. Both IFLA and EIFL have highlighted the risks of such moves. Continue reading »

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