Gathering Looks At Governance Of WIPO, IP Governance In Multilateral Fora

ICTSD event image Mar 2015

On 5 March, the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) in collaboration with Oxford University’s Global Economic Governance Programme (GEG) hosted an event in Geneva to discuss challenges and issues in intellectual property governance.

Global Fund Publishes Terms Of Reference Of Equitable Access Initiative

Global Fund

An initiative spearheaded by the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria to ensure equitable access to medicines in particular in middle-income countries now has a dedicated webpage publishing the terms of reference of the initiative. Also available is the list of high-level participants who attended the first meeting of the initiative held last week.

Why The Request By Least Developed Countries For An Extension Of The Transitional Period For Granting And Enforcing Medicines Patents Needs To Be Supported

Ellen 't Hoen

Ellen ‘t Hoen writes: On 24 February 2015 Bangladesh on behalf of the 34 Least Developed Country members (LDCs) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) submitted a request for an extension of the transitional period under article 66.1 TRIPS with respect to pharmaceutical products until the country is no longer classified as LDC.[1] The original extension, set to expire on 1st January 2016, specifically removes the obligation for LDCs to comply with Section 5 (Patents) and Section 7 (Protection of Undisclosed Information) of Part II of TRIPS, including any obligation to enforce rights under these provisions.

It is a little known fact that since the adoption of the 2001 Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health, LDCs have frequently used the extension in day-to-day procurement of low cost generic medicines, in particular to access medicines needed for the treatment of HIV.

New Quiet Initiative To Improve Drug Access In Middle-Income Countries, Change Country Classification System

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This week a confidential high-level expert meeting was convened in Geneva to start work on a potential change in the country classification used by global health actors to remedy the growing problem of access to medicines in middle-income countries.

Medicines Patent Pool Nails Down Another Key Paediatric Drug

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The Medicines Patent Pool today announced it has struck a licence with MSD, the North American-based Merck pharmaceutical company, to boost access to and innovation on raltegravir, a child-approved HIV medicine. The outcome is particularly significant because it opens options for very young children.

In 21st Century No One Should Die For Lack Of Access To Medicines, Participants At UN Forum Say

Price of Medicines

Last week’s 2015 Social Forum led by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) called for urgent action to facilitate access to medicines. In particular, the functioning of the intellectual property system was put into question. A number of recommendations were drawn by the secretariat after having been identified by participants.

TRIPS In Question During Social Forum Discussion On Access To Medicines

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Intellectual property rights are hindering access to medicines by maintaining monopolies and high prices, according to speakers at an annual United Nations forum on human rights last week. Flexibilities enshrined in the World Trade Organization intellectual property agreement are hampered by political and economical pressure, they said, and a new system should be devised for pharmaceutical products.

WHO Board Recommends Extension Of Plan For Health Innovation, IP

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The World Health Organization Executive Board this week recommended the extension of an important strategy and plan of action on health, IP and innovation. It also set out steps to resolve questions over evaluation and review of the strategy and plan of action before the annual World Health Assembly in May.

WHO Sets Path For Completing Rules Of Engagement With Industry, Foundations

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The World Health Organization Executive Board has set a way forward from now to the annual May World Health Assembly for addressing the sensitive issue of drafting a framework for engagement with “non-state actors,” such as industry, foundations, academics and other non-governmental stakeholders.

WHO Still Finding Its Way On Financing R&D For Diseases Affecting Poor Countries

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In search of sustainable innovation models for cures for diseases affecting primarily developing countries, with the Ebola epidemic as a new reminder of the necessity and urgency of the matter, the World Health Organization had tasked an expert working group with the search for solutions. Last week, the WHO Executive Board took note of the progress made so far.