European Parliament Trade Committee Tries To Defuse TTIP Controversy But Outcome Remains Uncertain

Paisley Abbey gargoyle 6

European Commission negotiators should back away from a controversial provision in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) deal that would allow companies to sue governments in arbitration courts over claimed unequal treatment, the European Parliament International Trade Committee (INTA) said on 28 May. MEPs called instead for publicly appointed, independent judges, public hearings and an appellate mechanism that respects the jurisdiction of EU and national courts, the committee said.

70+ NGOs Urge WTO Members To Grant Extension Of LDC Pharma Waiver

USAID fight fake drugs

Over seventy non-governmental organisations, most of them local from developing countries, have co-signed a letter to World Trade Organization members to ask they agree to a request by least-developed countries to extend a waiver on their obligation to enforce intellectual property rights on pharmaceutical products.

Lack Of Locally Relevant Online Content Deters Mobile Users In Developing Countries, WSIS Panel Says

mickey-mouse

Although most people in the world live within reach of a mobile internet signal, a considerable amount of mobile users in developing countries are not using the opportunity to go online. One of the factors, according to a panel today, is the lack of locally relevant content.

Panel: Compulsory Licensing Could Address High-Priced Medicines In Europe

pills

The high prices of medicine, which affects access to affordable medicine, was a theme of the annual World Health Assembly over the past week. In one side event, a panel discussed compulsory licensing as a vehicle to be used in combatting the high prices of medicine, not only in developing countries, but in Europe.

World Health Assembly Concludes With Actions On Range Of Issues

DSCN2990

The 68th World Health Assembly (WHA), which took place from 18-26 May, was characterised as one of the most successful annual assemblies ever by Margaret Chan, World Health Organization director general. From the standpoint of intellectual property, access and innovation, this may be debatable. Below is a guide to the main accomplishments highlighted by Intellectual Property Watch.

These include: action plans to fight antibiotic resistance and to boost vaccinations, extension of the Global Strategy and Plan of Action on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property (GSPA), incremental progress on alternative research and development for neglected diseases, status of the pandemic influenza preparedness framework, response to emergencies like Ebola, and WHO’s relationship with lobbyists and donors.

WHO Engagement With Non-State Actors: No Deal This Year, Work To Continue

Sugar

The annual World Health Assembly closed today following a decision to postpone for one year completion of a new policy on the UN agency’s engagement with industry, foundations and other “non-state actors.”

WHA Committees Approve Plans On Antimicrobial Resistance, Vaccines, Innovation

WHA68 committee action
Photo credit: Eimear Murphy

Today, member states in committee at the World Health Assembly adopted the first global plan of action to address the issue of antimicrobial resistance, and a global plan of action on vaccines. In addition, a mechanism on public health, innovation and intellectual property was postponed until 2022, and a deadline for its evaluation moved to 2018.

An Interview With WIPO Director General Francis Gurry On The New Lisbon Act For GIs

WIPO DG Francis Gurry

Members of the Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration on 20 May agreed on a new Act of the agreement, extending protection previously granted only to appellations of origins to geographical indications. The World Intellectual Property Organization is responsible for this agreement. After the signing ceremony at WIPO, Intellectual Property Watch sat down with WIPO Director General Francis Gurry to discuss the new Act.

WHA 68: Experts Discuss Delinking R&D Costs From Pricing To Make Medicines Affordable

essential meds

The problem of drug prices eating up national health budgets has been coming up at the annual World Health Assembly. Last week, a panel of experts discussed the merits of lowering those prices by delinking research and development costs from pricing.

WHO Advances R&D Financing Effort; Global R&D Observatory To Launch In January

World Health Assembly Committee B

World Health Organization members in committee this week took note of a report by the Consultative Expert Working Group on Research and Development: Financing and Coordination (CEWG), which was set up to find ways to fund research on diseases afflicting poor populations which have little market incentive for the private sector. The report included a proposal for a voluntary pooled fund that would focus on the development of effective and affordable health technologies for such neglected diseases.