Alternative Summit Offers Ideas For Trade Agreements, G7, Amid 40,000 Protesters

Protest in Munich to Obama: Mr. President, hand your Peace Prize to Chelsa Manning and Edward Snowden

MUNICH — Just days before leaders of the Group of 7 (G7) industrialised countries gather in the well-guarded Bavarian Castle Elmau, a broad coalition of organisations invited free trade critics to an International Summit for Alternatives in Munich. Speaking there, Jean Ziegler, well-known former UN rapporteur for the right to food, shrugged off the possible effects of the G7 Summit.

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

USAID fight fake drugs

Over 140 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.

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.

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.

Two UN Agencies Come Out In Support Of Extension Of TRIPS LDC Waiver

medicines mixed

The United Nations Development Programme and the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS have issued a joint statement supporting a request by least-developed countries to extend a waiver allowing them to abstain from enforcing patents on pharmaceutical products.

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.

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.