New Proposal To Extend WHO Action Plan On Innovation, IP Rights

DSCN1033

At the World Health Organization Executive Board today, a group of countries tabled a proposal to extend the WHO plan of action on public health, innovation and intellectual property until 2022. Yesterday, the Executive Board took note of the Global Vaccine Action Plan while some countries remarked on issues of affordability and accessibility. And today, one of the key discussions of the week – on the engagement of WHO with lobbyists, donors, and other interested non-governmental parties – has begun.

Ebola, Reform High On WHO Executive Board Agenda This Week

ebola image

The World Health Organization Executive Board yesterday adopted a resolution on Ebola, on the eve of today’s opening of its 10-day meeting addressing a broad range of health issues, including several of relevance to the intellectual property and innovation community. Today, Italy requested that member states be involved in the setting of WHO guidelines, raising governance issues, while WHO Director General Margaret Chan called for strong health systems and reform to the WHO structure, and asked for room to move on WHO relations with industry.

Biosimilars Present Opportunity, Challenge For Developing Countries, UNCTAD Group Says

Molecule

Biosimilars are a hot topic. Beyond the colossal profits foreseen by some, drawing a lot of interested parties into the game, developing countries mean to play a role in this new frontier. However, biosimilars – close copies of biopharmaceutical products – are difficult and very costly to produce and come as a challenge to the generic industry used to duplicating small molecules. And some warn about differences in regulatory requirements, which could effectively boot developing countries out of the global market.

WIPO Re:Search Celebrates 3 Years, Looks To The Future

Wipo logo 2

Several years ago, the World Intellectual Property Organization set up a project aimed at helping bring together those with intellectual property rights and those with ideas for research to develop medical products for people in need. The project, WIPO Re:Search, has gathered numerous partners and is beginning to look ahead to its next phases, including the possible eventuality of drug development, according to the WIPO secretariat.

WHO Report: Access, Affordability Of Medicines Key To Reducing Non-Communicable Diseases

cancer_861_600x450

A new report from the World Health Organization examines the Global action plan for the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases 2013-2020 (known as the Global NCD Action Plan) and provides some “lessons learnt from implementation.” The report calls for urgent action by governments to stop the “epidemic” of cancer and mostly preventable diseases from sources like tobacco use, salt intake, physical inactivity, and high blood pressure. This includes ensuring treatment is available and affordable, it says.

Gilead To Appeal India Patent Rejection, Hails Regulatory Approval

Gilead logo

Pharmaceutical manufacturer Gilead has given its side to this week’s story of the rejection of its patent on a hepatitis C treatment in India, and it insists it will prevail in making its medicines available in India on its terms.

Key Hepatitis C Patent Rejected In India

Flickr -  DurhamDundee

Today’s rejection by the Patent Office Controller of India of a patent application by Gilead company for a key drug against hepatitis C is being hailed by advocates as a path to dramatically lower costs of treatment for the disease. Hepatitis C has been noteworthy for exorbitantly priced medicines over the past year. A look at the decision shows that a provision in India’s law continues to stop patent applications if they fail to show sufficient novelty and inventive step – and are subject to opposition.

WHO Executive Board To Address Reform, R&D Financing, Ebola, Budget

WHO

The upcoming World Health Organization Executive Board annual January meeting will be 10 days. Included in the list of issues to be addressed are the engagement of the organisation with lobbyists and donors, antimicrobial resistance, and the potential establishment of a pooled fund of voluntary contributions for research and development for diseases primarily affecting developing countries.

Fight Against Ebola Gaining Ground As Vaccines Pass Tests, WHO Says

Ebola virus

The World Health Organization today optimistically announced progress in the search for efficient vaccines to fight the Ebola virus. Tests conducted so far show acceptable safety profiles, and public-private vaccine alliance Gavi has committed to fund Ebola vaccines.

Most-Read IP-Watch Stories In 2014: A Tale Of Staff Issues, India, Hot-Button Topics

world map income

All year long, Intellectual Property Watch expends great energy and resources to bring hundreds of carefully written, detailed stories on policymaking – technical committee meetings, legislation, negotiations, legal cases, and latest reports and papers. But in what is perhaps typical of readers everywhere, many of the best-read IP-Watch stories of 2014 were those few that involved elections and personnel issues and India, followed by a range of hot button issues such as high-priced medicines, copyright and knowledge access, patent valuation, or internet surveillance.