Will India, US Bridge Divide Over Intellectual Property Rights?

Modi Obama

There is an uptick in India-United States relations. US President Barack Obama will be in India in January as the chief guest at the country’s Republic Day Parade. Obama, who hosted India’s new Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Washington in September, will become the first US president to attend such a celebration, a display of India’s military might and ethnic diversity, as well as the first to visit India twice while in office.

UN Office Of Drugs And Crime Enters Debate Over Fake Medicines And IP

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The Vienna-based United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has been working for several years to fight “fraudulent” medicines in the global supply chain. But an alleged new draft model legislation it is developing includes intellectual property rights, an issue which has led to intensive debates in other international fora. This week, a closed-door UNODC informal expert group drafting the model legislation is meeting in Vienna.

WIPO Seminar: For Access To Hepatitis C Treatments, Look At HIV Lessons

Hepatitis C Virus

A seminar on innovation and access to medicine last week examined the issue of access to hepatitis C treatment, looking at the HIV/AIDS path. Voluntary licences, such as the one entered by Gilead for its hepatitis drugs, have been applauded but such licences often do not cover middle-income countries, which are home to the bulk of hepatitis C patients, and whose poor populations remain unable to access treatment.

Draft UN Post-2015 Development Goals: Future Must Not Be ‘Business As Usual’, Including IP Rights

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Last week’s United Nations draft report for the post-2015 sustainable development goals under negotiation calls for continued progress toward sweeping improvements in the lives of all people and the health of the planet, including ensuring that intellectual property rights are respected but do not get in the way.

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

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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

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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.