India IPR Policy Update: Final Draft Circulated

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The final draft of India’s national intellectual property policy has been circulated for inter-ministerial consultation and will be sent to the Cabinet for approval after receiving comments, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said this week. Meanwhile, today public health groups in India announced that revocation of a Roche pharmaceutical patent has been upheld under Indian law.

France Spearheads Push For Plain Packaging Of Tobacco Products

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The country that made smoking cool is now taking steps to make it uncool. France this week organised what it defined as “the first international ministerial meeting” on plain packaging for tobacco products, gathering countries that support the public health measure aimed at discouraging tobacco use.

Treaty On ‘Medicines Crime’ Not Best Response To Counterfeit/Substandard Medicines, Paper Says

A recent paper by public health experts argues that a treaty on ‘medicines crime’ to combat counterfeit and substandard medicines may not be the best step forward. Rather, it proposes to form an international agreement to “ensure that all proven effective and necessary medicines are affordable, available, and of assured quality,” if the goal is to protect the interests of people and public health.

Investor-State Cases Could Have Cost Cash-Strapped Argentina $80B, Paper Says

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A new developing country policy brief warns against use of the investor-state dispute settlement mechanism, arguing that it has a low capacity to adapt to exceptional circumstances that can afflict developing countries.

EU Commissioner Signals Support For LDC Request To Waive IP Rights Enforcement On Pharma

Cecilia Malmström  EU Trade Commissioner

European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström said in a recent speech that providing she has the backing of the College of Commissioners, the Council and the European Parliament, she would like to answer positively to the request by least developed countries (LDCs) to extend a particular exemption to enforce intellectual property rights on medical products as long as they remain an LDC.

Aid Agencies Hail Agreement On Access To Early Infant HIV Diagnostic Technologies

Community Health Workers Working with HIV-infected Mothers, photo credit USAID

An agreement entered into by a range of international organisations and others announced this week is expected to lower the price of early infant HIV diagnostic technologies by 35 percent, according to the parties.

WHO Negotiations To Continue On Non-State Actors

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Third World Network reports: New Delhi, 20 July (K M Gopakumar) – Member States of the World Health Organization have decided to continue the negotiations on a Framework of Engagement with Non-State Actors (FENSA) as several key issues remain unresolved.

UNCTAD Official: Need For Policy Coherence In Local Pharmaceutical Production

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Despite progress in recent years to boost local pharmaceutical production in developing countries, policy coherence across the countries is lacking, according to an official at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

Learning From Ebola

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In 1976, Yambuku village school headmaster Mabalo Lokela felt sick when he returned from a trip to northern Zaire near the Central African Republic border. He had a high fever, diarrhea, and bleeding. Because he was initially believed to have malaria, Lokela was given quinine, but his symptoms got worse and he soon died. Shortly afterwards, those who had been in contact with Lokela also died. … Almost four decades later, there is still no cure for Ebola, despite the fact that drug development on average takes about a third of this time frame, write William Fisher and Quentin Palfrey.

Paper: Commons Approach To European Knowledge Policy Could Yield Better Outcomes

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A new paper released earlier this month finds that the commons perspective, which embraces knowledge as a shared resource and its management a joint responsibility, could contribute to EU policy discussions and yield better policy outcomes in areas such as health, environment, science and culture, and the internet.