Australia Accuses Tobacco Industry Of ‘Regulatory Chill’ In WTO Plain Packaging Case

plain-packaging-smoking-images

Australia this week at the World Trade Organization said the tobacco industry is applying a “well-known tactic” of instilling a “regulatory chill” on WTO members’ efforts to implement plain-packaging anti-smoking strategies. It also said pro-tobacco countries should not keep putting the issue on WTO committee agendas while their dispute settlement cases are running their course.

Index: Pharma Industry Improves On Access To Medicines, Needs Work On Ethics, Patent Disclosure

2014 Access to Medicine Index image

The 2014 edition of an independent ranking of leading pharmaceutical companies’ efforts to help developing countries released today found new initiatives undertaken in the past two years. But it said corruption and insufficient disclosure of existing patents continue to plague the industry.

US IP Industry Meeting With Indian Judges A “Ruse”, Activists Say

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Public health activists and others have been watching closely in recent months as United States government and industry officials meet steadily and intensively with Indian counterparts to press change in that country’s intellectual property policy toward greater protection and recognition of western IP rights. A particular area of concern has been in pharmaceuticals, as India is said to be the world’s top supplier of affordable generic versions of drugs under patent that otherwise would be out of reach for millions of poor patients. Several activists have raised alarm over a meeting this week of US IP industry representatives with top judges in India.

WHO Influenza Preparedness Report Shows Companies Not Fulfilling Obligations

Influenza Virus - Flickr - Sanofi Pasteur

The World Health Organization Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (PIP) Framework is at risk due to some companies not fulfilling their obligations, a new WHO report says.

WHO In Race To Find Promising Ebola Treatments As Many Products Ruled Out

Ebola virus - Flickr CDC Global

Proposals for products to help fight Ebola are coming in to the World Health Organization, but few look promising so far, an official said today. Meanwhile, efforts are on to establish testing sites for potential products, and thinking is still in the early stages on intellectual property rights for new drugs in development.

Global Differences On Patents Lead WIPO Patent Law Committee To Stumble On Future Work

WIPO Standing Committee on the Law of Patents

Once again, differences over the role of a World Intellectual Property Organization committee last week came in the way of consensus and prevented delegates from agreeing on future work. At the heart of the discontent was the perceived imbalance of the proposed programme of work, which some said disregarded the interests of developing countries. A speaker for the African region gave a striking speech on the Ebola crisis as an example of the failure of the patent system.

Expect Strong IP Push From Global Pharma Industry Next Year; WHO Prescribes Dose Of Reality

Medicines - FLickr - Nina Matthews

NEW YORK – Strong intellectual property rights will be a top priority for the pharmaceutical industry internationally in the coming year and arguments over IPRs versus medicines access are false, a top representative said at a high-level industry event this week. But views at the event differed on expectations of industry in light of the Ebola crisis, hepatitis C drug costs or other medicines access questions.

WTO, WHO, WIPO Examine IPRs And Middle-Income Countries

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The current income-based grouping of countries needs to be changed or access to medicines in middle-income countries will worsen, several speakers said yesterday at a joint meeting between three international organisations on health, trade, and intellectual property. But middle-income countries should step up their engagement in organisations such as the World Health Organization, according to WHO and civil society.

Limitations And Exceptions To Patent Rights Discussed In WIPO Committee

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The World Intellectual Property Organization patent law committee this week is addressing a range of issues including patent quality, technology transfer for medicine production, limitations and exceptions to patents, and the confidentiality of communications between clients and their patent advisors.

TRIPS Council Debates: Tobacco Packaging, Non-Violation Disputes, Innovation, Health Waiver, UNCTAD

Enough of a deterrent?

This week’s meeting of the World Trade Organization body governing intellectual property issues addressed a long agenda, reflecting continued divergence on regular items, such as complaints that do not involve breach of a WTO agreement, a health waiver, and sustained discussions on plain packaging for tobacco products.