UNITAID Issues Call For Solutions To Overcome IP Barriers 06/09/2016 by Alexandra Nightingale for Intellectual Property Watch 2 Comments Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)UNITAID, the drug financing mechanism, has put out an appeal calling for ideas on solutions to overcome intellectual property barriers that may be preventing progress in public health. The deadline for submissions is coming near. According to the request made by the multilateral partnership hosted by the World Health Organization, “Patents and other intellectual property rights can keep the prices of health products high, putting them out of reach of the needy and vulnerable.” In turn, concrete high-level suggestions are being sought to overcome such barriers and inform potential “areas for intervention.” UNITAID’s appeal can be found here. UNITAID seeks to contribute to and maximize the global response against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria in developing countries through time-limited investments in projects that increase access to better, more effective and more affordable health products such as preventatives, medicines and diagnostics. Related projects mentioned by UNITAID include its spinoff, the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP), which negotiates “public-health oriented” voluntary licences and functions as a “pool” for such licences. It also includes the Lawyers Collective and International Treatment Preparedness Coalition projects, which make use of flexibilities (compulsory licensing, the least-developed country transition period, patent oppositions and stringent patentability criteria) under the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) to facilitate access to selected medicines. Further challenges highlighted by the organization also include the lack of incentives to develop medicines and that voluntary and collaborative mechanisms, such as the use of voluntary licences to overcome patent and other IPR barriers, do not include all middle-income countries. This leaves the use of TRIPS flexibilities to overcome IP barriers. Suggestions (max. 1 page) should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by 15 September 2016 Alexandra Nightingale is a researcher at Intellectual Property Watch. She completed her Bachelors in Law at the University of Sussex and holds an LLM degree in International Law from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. During her Masters, she developed a strong interest in Intellectual Property, particularly patents and the aspects relating to global health. Her research interests now also include geographical indications and trademarks. Image Credits: UNITAID Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related Alexandra Nightingale may be reached at email@example.com."UNITAID Issues Call For Solutions To Overcome IP Barriers" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.