Ebola Crisis Has Severe Impact On AIDS Response In Sierra Leone, UNDP Report Says

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According to an internal report of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Global Fund Partnership team, the Ebola epidemic has virtually halted national HIV efforts in Sierra Leone. In particular, patients stopped their treatments and the supply chain was disrupted.

Tobacco Plain Packaging Discussion Lights Up Again At WTO

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The issue of plain packaging for tobacco products as a health measure has been smouldering at the World Trade Organization since Australia decided to implement legislation requiring plain packaging in 2012. Now, as more countries seek to enact similar legal provisions, some tobacco producing countries continue to try to stub them out, including at the WTO intellectual property committee.

WTO Least-Developed Countries Request Waiver Of IP Rights On Pharma Products

Medicines in LDC

This week at the World Trade Organization intellectual property committee meeting, least-developed countries submitted a request to extend a waiver allowing them not to enforce intellectual property rights on pharmaceutical products. The countries have extended the waiver before, but this time they are seeking to make it indefinite, until they are no longer considered LDCs.

New Quiet Initiative To Improve Drug Access In Middle-Income Countries, Change Country Classification System

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This week a confidential high-level expert meeting was convened in Geneva to start work on a potential change in the country classification used by global health actors to remedy the growing problem of access to medicines in middle-income countries.

WIPO Members Propose Changes To Draft Legal Instrument Protecting GIs

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In the run-up to the May high-level negotiating meeting to amend a World Intellectual Property Organization treaty to enhance the protection of geographical indications, member countries were invited to suggest changes to the basic negotiating text. Ten countries issued proposed changes by the 1 February deadline, some asking for full participation of WIPO members in the negotiations of the 28-member treaty.

Status Of WTO Wines And Spirits Register Discussed

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World Trade Organization delegates were convened this week to discuss an international register for wines and spirits in the context of the organisation’s agreement on intellectual property. The discussion, dating back nearly 20 years, has long involved different views on the register, which were reaffirmed this week, according to sources in Geneva.

In 21st Century No One Should Die For Lack Of Access To Medicines, Participants At UN Forum Say

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Last week’s 2015 Social Forum led by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) called for urgent action to facilitate access to medicines. In particular, the functioning of the intellectual property system was put into question. A number of recommendations were drawn by the secretariat after having been identified by participants.

TRIPS In Question During Social Forum Discussion On Access To Medicines

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Intellectual property rights are hindering access to medicines by maintaining monopolies and high prices, according to speakers at an annual United Nations forum on human rights last week. Flexibilities enshrined in the World Trade Organization intellectual property agreement are hampered by political and economical pressure, they said, and a new system should be devised for pharmaceutical products.

Neuchâtel Event Looks At Swiss Innovation, Competitiveness

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NEUCHATEL – Switzerland is among the best students of global innovation. It continues to score at the top of global indexes and reports on innovation and competitiveness. At a seminar last week at the University of Neuchâtel, speakers gave their views on that success.

WIPO Seminar Could Rekindle Discussions On Genetic Resources, TK

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After the failure to agree on work to be done by the World Intellectual Property Organization committee on genetic resources and traditional knowledge at the last general assembly, and a barren calendar of meetings on the subject, WIPO is organising a seminar aimed at sharing regional, national and local experiences.