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 informal discussions to try to resolve outstanding issues.

European Council Takes Action To Advance Marrakesh Treaty For Blind Persons

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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.

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.

World Health Assembly Opens: Time Of Change At WHO; G-7 Involved

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks at WHA 68

“The Ebola outbreak shook this organization to its core,” World Health Organization Director General Margaret Chan said in opening the WHO’s annual assembly today. And the need to better construct the world’s emergency response systems has the biggest economies on the podium, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaking as chair of the Group of 7.

WHO Leads Effort To Build R&D Roadmap For Future Epidemics

Panel Chair Barbara Stocking, photo credit John Zaracostas

The World Health Organization is working to learn from the fast response on research and development for Ebola that led to effective treatments in a short time. It hopes that this changes the way R&D for emergency vaccines is done forever.

Polish Government Drafts IP Law Reform

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WARSAW — More than twenty years after Poland’s parliament passed the Authors’ and Related Rights law of 1994, the Polish government is drafting three bills to modify the country’s intellectual property legislation. The first of the drafts prepared by the Polish Ministry of Culture and National heritage was submitted to the Parliament in March, and is currently being deliberated, while the ministry is finishing work on the remaining two drafts.

Ratification Of Marrakesh Treaty For The Blind Postponed In Europe?

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The German Federation of Blind and Partially Sighted today sounded the alarm over another dispute about the “Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled”. The German and the Italian governments are blocking a compromise on the path for ratification in the European Union, the Blind Federation said in a press release. The EU Council of Ministers is expected to take a decision on the ratification next week

In ‘Huge’ Move, WHO Adds Key Hepatitis C, Cancer, TB Drugs To Essential Medicines List

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The World Health Organization today published its updated Model List of Essential Medicines, including high-priced new treatments for hepatitis C, cancers and multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) that were quickly applauded by the public health advocacy community.

EU Copyright Review Divisive; French MEP Says UN Expert Lacks Balance

Farida Shaheed

The UN Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, Farida Shaheed, yesterday gave a presentation to the Legal Committee of the European Parliament, which currently is reviewing the EU Copyright Directive.