IP-Watch Seeks Part-Time Fundraising/Outreach Expert

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Intellectual Property Watch is seeking a dynamic person to help expand our fundraising and outreach activities.

WHO Heralds Breakthrough On Ebola Vaccine: “Turning Point In History Of Health R&D”

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The World Health Organization announced today that a vaccine preventing Ebola has proved efficacious in Ebola-stricken Guinea, hailing it as a “turning point in the history of health R&D.”

Medicines Patent Pool At 5 Years: Promises Kept, Changes Ahead – An Interview With Greg Perry

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The Medicines Patent Pool in Geneva is celebrating five years of existence this month. MPP Executive Director Greg Perry sat down with Intellectual Property Watch Catherine Saez to describe progress made since its inception, the success of its licensing agreement model, and plans for the future, including a possible extension to other diseases such as tuberculosis and hepatitis C.

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.

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

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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.

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.

Panel: Compulsory Licensing Could Address High-Priced Medicines In Europe

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The high prices of medicine, which affects access to affordable medicine, was a theme of the annual World Health Assembly over the past week. In one side event, a panel discussed compulsory licensing as a vehicle to be used in combatting the high prices of medicine, not only in developing countries, but in Europe.

World Health Assembly Concludes With Actions On Range Of Issues

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The 68th World Health Assembly (WHA), which took place from 18-26 May, was characterised as one of the most successful annual assemblies ever by Margaret Chan, World Health Organization director general. From the standpoint of intellectual property, access and innovation, this may be debatable. Below is a guide to the main accomplishments highlighted by Intellectual Property Watch.

These include: action plans to fight antibiotic resistance and to boost vaccinations, extension of the Global Strategy and Plan of Action on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property (GSPA), incremental progress on alternative research and development for neglected diseases, status of the pandemic influenza preparedness framework, response to emergencies like Ebola, and WHO’s relationship with lobbyists and donors.