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.

Review Of WHO Mechanism To Fight Substandard Medicines Postponed Until 2017

bag_of_seized_counterfeit_Viagra

World Health Organization delegates today agreed in committee to postpone until 2017 the review of a mechanism that had been set up to help countries deal with substandard and fake medicines.

WHO Debates Plan To Fight Antibiotic Resistance

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World Health Organization members this week are debating a plan to address the global problem of increasing resistance to existing antibiotics and the lack of new treatments to replace them. Today, discussions on antimicrobial resistance went to informals to try to resolve outstanding issues.

European Council Takes Action To Advance Marrakesh Treaty For Blind Persons

blind reader africa

The European Council of member states yesterday adopted a decision asking the European Commission to draft legislation on Europe’s ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty on increasing access to publications for blind and visually impaired readers.

Five Challenges Filed Against Gilead Patent Claims For Hepatitis C Drug

Sovaldi

Pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences has been noted first for developing a treatment for hepatitis C, which afflicts tens of millions around the world, and then for pricing it at jaw-dropping prices ($1000 per pill) in the United States and elsewhere. Now a group of health advocates has challenged Gilead’s patent applications in five emerging economies.

New Act Protecting Geographical Indications Adopted At WIPO

wipo lisbon

Today, a small number of World Intellectual Property Organization members adopted a new Geneva Act of a treaty protecting appellations of origin and geographical indications. The Act is the revision of a previous treaty which only covered appellations of origin. This adoption was made to the dismay of other WIPO members, which despite efforts to accommodate their views could not reconcile being denied the right to vote in a United Nations body. They said the agreement among a few members could affect all.

Statement: Blumenthal Offers Amendment On Trade Transparency

confidential

Senators Blumenthal, Brown, Baldwin, and Udall introduced today a trade negotiation transparency bill that would require that all formal U.S. proposals for trade agreement restrictions on domestic regulations be posted on a website. This is a common sense policy that should be broadly supported. The bill would require policies similar to the transparency policies currently followed by the European Union and by intergovernmental organizations that set similar minimum regulatory standards. But it would be a major change in the current process for trade negotiations followed by the U.S. Trade Representative, which are infamously secretive, write Sean Flynn and David Levine.

WHA68: Global Vaccine Plan Lagging; New Proposal To Lower Prices

68th World Health Assembly Committee A

An assessment of the World Health Organization Global Vaccine Action Plan aimed at delivering vaccination to all and boosting research into new vaccines found implementation to be “far off-track” in some areas. Today at the World Health Assembly, Libya put forward a new proposal at the Assembly to reduce vaccine prices and increase availability in developing countries.

France, Italy, Heavyweights Of Lisbon Appellations Of Origin System; Africa Struggling

Lisbon members by number of AO registrations

A small number of World Intellectual Property Organization members this week are negotiating to expand a treaty to protect geographical indications, products like Champagne. Under the old treaty, which protects appellations of origin, over half of the registrations are in France, and another large amount in Italy. According to an analysis, many of the 28 members of the treaty have zero or very few registrations, raising the question of how the new GI protection will be different if agreed.