SUBSCRIBE TODAY!
Subscribing entitles a reader to complete stories on all topics released as they happen, special features, confidential documents and access to the complete, searchable story archive online back to 2004.
IP-Watch Summer Interns

IP-Watch interns talk about their Geneva experience in summer 2013. 2:42.

Inside Views

Submit ideas to info [at] ip-watch [dot] ch!

We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website.

By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

1. You agree that you are fully responsible for the content that you post. You will not knowingly post content that violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property right of any third party or which you know is under a confidentiality obligation preventing its publication and that you will request removal of the same should you discover that you have violated this provision. Likewise, you may not post content that is libelous, defamatory, obscene, abusive, that violates a third party's right to privacy, that otherwise violates any applicable local, state, national or international law, that amounts to spamming or that is otherwise inappropriate. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual preference, disability or other classification. Epithets and other language intended to intimidate or to incite violence are also prohibited. Furthermore, you may not impersonate others.

2. You understand and agree that Intellectual Property Watch is not responsible for any content posted by you or third parties. You further understand that IP Watch does not monitor the content posted. Nevertheless, IP Watch may monitor the any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove, edit or otherwise alter content that it deems inappropriate for any reason whatever without consent nor notice. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on our site. IP Watch is not in any manner endorsing the content of the discussion forums and cannot and will not vouch for its reliability or otherwise accept liability for it.

3. By submitting any contribution to IP Watch, you warrant that your contribution is your own original work and that you have the right to make it available to IP Watch for all purposes and you agree to indemnify IP Watch, its directors, employees and agents against all damages, legal fees and others expenses that may be incurred by IP Watch as a result of your breach of warranty or of these terms.

4. You further agree not to publish any personal information about yourself or anyone else (for example telephone number or home address). If you add a comment to a blog, be aware that your email address will be apparent.

5. IP Watch will not be liable for any loss including but not limited to the following (whether such losses are foreseen, known or otherwise): loss of data, loss of revenue or anticipated profit, loss of business, loss of opportunity, loss of goodwill or injury to reputation, losses suffered by third parties, any indirect, consequential or exemplary damages.

6. You understand and agree that the discussion forums are to be used only for non-commercial purposes. You may not solicit funds, promote commercial entities or otherwise engage in commercial activity in our discussion forums.

7. You acknowledge and agree that you use and/or rely on any information obtained through the discussion forums at your own risk.

8. For any content that you post, you hereby grant to IP Watch the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, exclusive and fully sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part, world-wide and to incorporate it in other works, in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

9. These terms and your posts and contributions shall be governed and interpreted in accordance with the laws of Switzerland (without giving effect to conflict of laws principles thereof) and any dispute exclusively settled by the Courts of the Canton of Geneva.

Ten Questions About Internet Governance

On April 23 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the “Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance,” also known as “NETmundial” in an allusion to the global football event that will occur later in that country, will be convened. Juan Alfonso Fernández González of the Cuban Communications Ministry and a veteran of the UN internet governance meetings, raises 10 questions that need to be answered at NETmundial.


Latest Comments
  • Justice Roberts seems to think that adjusting ones... »
  • These obscured negotiations appear to this reader ... »

  • For IPW Subscribers

    A directory of IP delegates in Geneva. Read more>

    A guide to Geneva-based public health and intellectual property organisations. Read More >


    Monthly Reporter

    The Intellectual Property Watch Monthly Reporter, published from 2004 to January 2011, is a 16-page monthly selection of the most important, updated stories and features, plus the People and News Briefs columns.

    The Intellectual Property Watch Monthly Reporter is available in an online archive on the IP-Watch website, available for IP-Watch Subscribers.

    Access the Monthly Reporter Archive >

    Inside Views
    Inside Views: Amending Canada’s Access To Medicines Regime (CAMR): The New Fate Of Bill C-393

    Published on 28 June 2011 @ 12:11 pm

    Disclaimer: the views expressed in this column are solely those of the authors and are not associated with Intellectual Property Watch. IP-Watch expressly disclaims and refuses any responsibility or liability for the content, style or form of any posts made to this forum, which remain solely the responsibility of their authors.

    Intellectual Property Watch

    By Daniele Dionisio

    A Canadian bill to improve global access to medicines might get another shot in the new Parliament.

    The newly elected Canadian Parliament resumed on 2 June amidst pleas for the attention of majority Conservative government. But Bill C-393 is quite different matter than a plea. Determining whether or not to reintroduce and pass this bill is a crucial humanitarian issue that transcends partisan interests while posing a bet on Canada’s credibility. Bill C-393 would actually play as a working way of effectively getting medicines to those still dying in the developing countries.

    Just under 5 billion people (43 percent relying on less than US$2 daily) live in the resource-limited countries where communicable diseases, including HIV, malaria and tuberculosis, are most prevalent, according to the WHO Global Strategy and Plan of Action on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property.

    Patent protection, by permitting the application of monopoly prices for brand medicines, keeps the poorest people, mainly in Sub-Saharan Africa, from non-discriminatory access to life-saving treatments. Such is the case notwithstanding the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), which encompasses flexibilities (including compulsory licenses, or CLs) to help income-constrained populations equitably access low-priced medicines. (A CL is a government provision that allows a generic manufacturer to produce and bring out less expensive, generic – i.e., not brand-name – copies of a medicine without the consent of the patent holder.)

    The WTO in November 2001 recognised that TRIPS Article 31(f) limited the use of CLs “predominantly” for the purpose of supplying the domestic market of the country where the licence was issued (see the Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health [pdf]). Permission for export under CL was then agreed upon through a WTO 2003 temporary waiver (the “August 30th Decision”, voted as permanent amendment on 6 December 2005 and still awaiting ratification by members).

    CAMR, the Flawed Canadian Way

    As a federal law aimed at helping get medicines for public health needs to the developing countries, Canada’s Access to Medicines Regime (CAMR) came into force in 2005 as an implementation of the WTO 2003 waiver. While a few other countries also have introduced laws to implement the waiver, Canada is the only country till now that has really translated legislation into action. Unfortunately, CAMR is a lengthy and cumbersome process with restrictions going beyond the minimum standards in WTO 2003 waiver. Presently, developing countries interested in accessing, under CAMR, affordable copies of brand-name medicines from Canada must wait until a Canadian generic firm can get a CL on a country-by-country and order-by-order basis, for a specific quantity of medicines (additional drug shipping is not permitted) and for a limited period (two years, extendable up to another two years only to finish delivery of the original order). As such, CAMR has been used only once for two shipments of medicines for HIV infection from Canada’s largest generic firm Apotex Inc.(Toronto) to Rwanda in 2008 and 2009, after three years were spent conforming to all regulatory requirements and the over 100 riders the law is enmeshed with (see IP-Watch, October 29, 2010).

    Calls by developing countries and public interest groups in Canada and elsewhere are steadily being renewed to streamline the barely-used regime into a “one-license solution” that would authorise a company to produce the same medicine for export to any country that submits notifications to WTO, regardless of the quantity of medicine. Should CAMR be amended, Apotex has publicly pledged to work to develop and deliver a generic three-in-one fixed-dose medication for treating children with HIV in developing countries, where half of all children born with HIV die before their second birthday because they don’t have access to appropriate medicines.

    Betting on Bill C-393

    In May 2009, proposed legislation Bill C-393, which aims to make CAMR expeditious and easier to use while complying with obligations under WTO’s trade rules, was introduced in the Canadian House of Commons.

    In addition to the “one-licence solution” [pdf], its contents include the removal of unnecessary limits on medicines that can be supplied under CAMR, and the transformation of a motion of four-year duration limit for CAMR reforms into a four-year review, instead of an automatic repeal of them.

    Irrespective of strong opposition, reportedly from Big Pharma lobbies and some Conservative government members, broad-range, steadily growing support is currently backing the Canadian campaign for CAMR reform (see here, here, and here).

    On 9 March, the majority of MPs in the House of Commons voted in favor of Bill C-393 and passed it on to the Senate of Canada. Unexpectedly, however, the bill stalled there and died, being prevented from coming to a vote and becoming law, with the dissolution of Parliament on 25 March. .http://thevarsity.ca/articles/45372

    The New Parliament: Still a Chance for Bill C-393?

    Ballot box results from the 2 May Canada’s parliamentary elections ratified the victory of the Conservative Party, which remains in power (167seats out of 308: 155 needed to form majority). The New Democratic Party (NDP) gained the second largest number of seats of any party (102) and became the official opposition, signalling a key change in Canadian politics. The Green Party won its first election for a seat, whereas the Liberal Party (LP) collapsed (34 seats) and the Bloc Québécois was decimated (4 seats down from 48).

    Is there room for hope that Bill C-393 might survive now and pass into law in Canada’s new 41st Parliament? Answering this question must consider, aside from the new balance of power inside the 41st Parliament composition, also the fact that many MPs of the dissolved Parliament already agreed that CAMR needs reforming.

    Interestingly, four out of five party leaders (from Bloc Québécois, Green Party, LP, NDP; no response from Conservative Party) replied affirmatively to an 11 April question posed by the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network whether, if elected, they and their party would support legislation to fix Canada’s Access to Medicines Regime by creating a simple one-licence process, without additional and unnecessary restrictions, in order to improve access to affordable medicines for people in need in developing countries.

    As regards the fate of Bill C-393, the election results, with significantly more power assigned to NDP added to the information above, means that Conservatives now have to face a firmly united opposition. Indeed, the NDP, LP and the Green Party fought for healthcare and shared similar values during the election campaign. Besides, it can mean a lot that strong supporters of the bill, such as its official sponsor, Paul Dewar (NDP), NDP leader Jack Layton, and Green Party leader Elizabeth May, have a seat in the new Parliament.

    On these grounds, coupled with consideration that amending CAMR is a non-partisan humanitarian issue, there is hope that Bill C-393 will attract new support from members of all Parties in the House of Commons, and that the Conservative government will allow its backbenchers freedom of conscience on it. But, if Bill C-393 is to be passed, civil society organisations must continue campaigning and mobilising political will in Parliament.


    Daniele Dionisio is a member of the European Parliament Working Group on Innovation, Access to Medicines and Poverty-Related Diseases. He is reference advisor for “Medicines for the Developing Countries”, SIMIT (Italian Society for Infectious and Tropical Diseases), and a member of the Italian Global Health Watch. Dionisio is former director, Infectious Disease Division, Pistoia Hospital, Pistoia (Italy). He can be reached at d.dionisio@tiscali.it.

     

    Comments

    1. Richard Elliott says:

      For latest news and information about the ongoing campaign to reform Canada’s Access to Medicines Regime…

      1. Visit http://www.aidslaw.ca/CAMR
      2. Follow us on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/AIDSLAW.

    2. Query says:

      If 98.6% of essential medicines are off patent, how do legislative “fixes” that address only 1.4% of essential medicines address the access to medicines debate? Why focus on only 1.4% of the problem? I honestly want to know what is prohibiting access to the other 98.6% of off patent essential medicines in developing countries and what governments can do to change that.

      http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/23/3/155.full

    3. Trade And Access To Medicines: Things The WTO Should Consider | Intellectual Property Watch says:

      [...] CAMR expeditious and easier to use while complying with obligations under WTO’s trade rules, is now under examination by the new Canadian Parliament. In addition to the one-licence solution its contents include the [...]

    4. Mo – Trade And Access To Medicines: Things The WTO Should Consider says:

      [...] Amending Canada’s Access To Medicines Regime (CAMR): The New Fate Of Bill C-393 [...]


    Leave a Reply

    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website. By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website.

    By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    1. You agree that you are fully responsible for the content that you post. You will not knowingly post content that violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property right of any third party or which you know is under a confidentiality obligation preventing its publication and that you will request removal of the same should you discover that you have violated this provision. Likewise, you may not post content that is libelous, defamatory, obscene, abusive, that violates a third party's right to privacy, that otherwise violates any applicable local, state, national or international law, that amounts to spamming or that is otherwise inappropriate. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual preference, disability or other classification. Epithets and other language intended to intimidate or to incite violence are also prohibited. Furthermore, you may not impersonate others.

    2. You understand and agree that Intellectual Property Watch is not responsible for any content posted by you or third parties. You further understand that IP Watch does not monitor the content posted. Nevertheless, IP Watch may monitor the any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove, edit or otherwise alter content that it deems inappropriate for any reason whatever without consent nor notice. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on our site. IP Watch is not in any manner endorsing the content of the discussion forums and cannot and will not vouch for its reliability or otherwise accept liability for it.

    3. By submitting any contribution to IP Watch, you warrant that your contribution is your own original work and that you have the right to make it available to IP Watch for all purposes and you agree to indemnify IP Watch, its directors, employees and agents against all damages, legal fees and others expenses that may be incurred by IP Watch as a result of your breach of warranty or of these terms.

    4. You further agree not to publish any personal information about yourself or anyone else (for example telephone number or home address). If you add a comment to a blog, be aware that your email address will be apparent.

    5. IP Watch will not be liable for any loss including but not limited to the following (whether such losses are foreseen, known or otherwise): loss of data, loss of revenue or anticipated profit, loss of business, loss of opportunity, loss of goodwill or injury to reputation, losses suffered by third parties, any indirect, consequential or exemplary damages.

    6. You understand and agree that the discussion forums are to be used only for non-commercial purposes. You may not solicit funds, promote commercial entities or otherwise engage in commercial activity in our discussion forums.

    7. You acknowledge and agree that you use and/or rely on any information obtained through the discussion forums at your own risk.

    8. For any content that you post, you hereby grant to IP Watch the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, exclusive and fully sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part, world-wide and to incorporate it in other works, in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

    9. These terms and your posts and contributions shall be governed and interpreted in accordance with the laws of Switzerland (without giving effect to conflict of laws principles thereof) and any dispute exclusively settled by the Courts of the Canton of Geneva.

     

     
    Your IP address is 54.82.122.194