WHO Advances R&D Financing Effort; Global R&D Observatory To Launch In January

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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.

Review Of WHO Mechanism To Fight Substandard Medicines Postponed Until 2017

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World Health Organization delegates today agreed in committee to postpone until 2017 the review of a mechanism that had been set up to help countries deal with substandard and fake medicines.

WHO Debates Plan To Fight Antibiotic Resistance

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World Health Organization members this week are debating a plan to address the global problem of increasing resistance to existing antibiotics and the lack of new treatments to replace them. Today, discussions on antimicrobial resistance went to informals to try to resolve outstanding issues.

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

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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.

At WIPO, 11 Members Sign New Act Protecting GIs, More To Follow

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Today, the signing ceremony of the new World Intellectual Property Organization agreement to protect geographical indications was held. On the first day, 11 members, mostly current Lisbon members, signed the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications.

European Council Takes Action To Advance Marrakesh Treaty For Blind Persons

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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

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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.

New Act Protecting Geographical Indications Adopted At WIPO

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Today, a small number of World Intellectual Property Organization members adopted a new Geneva Act of a treaty protecting appellations of origin and geographical indications. The Act is the revision of a previous treaty which only covered appellations of origin. This adoption was made to the dismay of other WIPO members, which despite efforts to accommodate their views could not reconcile being denied the right to vote in a United Nations body. They said the agreement among a few members could affect all.

Lisbon Members Near Completion Of New Act On Geographical Indications

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[Update: the new Act has been adopted. More to come.] After a week of drafting, a handful of World Intellectual Property Organization members – with often divergent input from other WIPO members – are close to concluding a new international agreement on the protection of geographical indications.

Did The WHO Just Invite Corporates To Set Health Policy?

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From the New Minute: The Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Dr. Margaret Chan has invited the private sector, civil society and academia among others, to join a dialogue on how non-state players can work with the global body to enhance public health work. A leading voice in this configuration is the United States-based Global Health Council (GHC) whose strong and spirited response to the invitation has set the cat among the pigeons in some countries (including reportedly with India) and certain sections of non-governmental organisations (NGOs).