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Access to medicines via competition not protectionism and price regulation

OPLAS, Bienvenido Nonoy
February 2010

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This paper is based on a presentation given in the Philippines on the right to health. Several topics were tackled there, from drug prices and price control, to drug availability, patent for new medicines, health insurance, among others. The focus was on the philosophy of 'health as a right' juxtaposed with 'health as personal responsibility'. The paper concludes that rather than favouring one group of pharma companies and demonising another, public policy should focus on expanding the people’s options in choosing the right mixture of medicines and healthcare that are appropriate for them given their existing resources and health needs

Intellectual property rights and access to ARV medicines : civil society resistance in the global south|Brazil, Colombia, China, India, Thailand

REIS, Renata
TERTO, Veriano Jr
PIMENTA, Maria Cristina Pimenta

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This book looks at "...the recent history and the many struggles related to advocacy for access to [antiretroviral] medicines of engaged civil society. Through the experiences of five middle-income countries - Brazil, China, Colombia, India, and Thailand." It presents "...the perspective of local civil society organisations about the national impact of intellectual property protection and access to medications. "These five countries were chosen due to their accumulated experience in this field, their capacity to produce generic medication, their activist efforts, and the exchange of ideas and information that already exists between them"

Life-saving HIV treatment : three problems, one solution


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This animation gives a clear explanation of the benefits of creating a patent pool for HIV medicines. Such a pool would enable drug licence holders to receive a fee while also enabling patents to be accessed by researchers, working on the development of new medicines, and generic manufacturers, which could potentially make newer medicines more affordable to people living in developing countries

Knowledge for action on equity in health in Uganda


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This is the report of a national meeting to promote policies for equity in health. It brought together government, academic and civil society institutions to explore, understand and propose options for reducing inequalities in health in Uganda

Genocide by denial : how profiteering from HIV/AIDS killed millions


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This open access book charts the spread of AIDS and its impact on people in villages in Uganda, sub-Saharan Africa and the rest of the world and the unnecessary numbers of deaths, particularly among poor people that it has caused. It also looks at the campaign to gain universal access to anti-retroviral therapy and the limited level of response from the rich world. The author challenges pharmaceutical companies to develop more ethical and humanitarian ways to trade, involving crucial life-saving drugs, and calls for a new world order to ensure entitlement of the poor to rapid humanitarian relief

Civil society report on intellectual property, innovation and health

et al

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This report explores issues of intellectual property rights and low rates of access to medicines in low-income countries. It tries to address the dilemma of encouraging the development of new drugs without patents becoming a hindrance to access. The report finds that while a reasonable system of protection of intellectual property rights can actually support innovation, access to essential drugs is often restricted by government tariffs and taxes and unnecessary regulations

Remuneration guidelines for non-voluntary use of a patent on medical technologies


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This document provides guidelines for determining reasonable royalties or adequate remuneration for the manufacture or sale of medicines. The emphasis is on patent systems easy to administer and not overly complex, setting royalty levels that should not prevent access to medicines. The document includes an overview of WTO TRIPS provisions, examples of royalty setting, considerations for developing a policy framework for remuneration and non-voluntary use of patents on medicines, royalty guidelines and an evaluation of the Medical Innovation Prize Fund system of remuneration. This document is primarily aimed at policy makers and national governments

Robbing the poor to pay the rich? How the United States keeps medicines from the world's poorest

BRANT, Jennifer
November 2003

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This paper examines how the government of the United States is contravening its commitment to the World Trade Organisation's Doha Declaration (to prioritize public health over private patent rights and to promote access to medicines) by using technical assistance, bilateral and regional trade agreements, and the threat of trade sanctions to ratchet up patent protection in developing countries. This policy benefits the influential US pharmaceutical industry while pushing medicines further out of the reach of poor people

Drug patents under the spotlight : sharing knowledge about pharmaceutical patents

BOULET, Pascale
GARRISON, Christopher
T'HOEN, Ellen
May 2003

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This report is aimed at a non-expert, non-legal audience, and it aims to offer new approaches to those seeking to overcome patent barriers. It focuses on the issues that World Trade Organisation (WTO) Members can control before a patent has been granted, and discusses how to challenge patents that have been granted, giving examples of the different choices available and the consequences of those choices. This publication has arisen from MSF's need to know which medicines are patented in which countries for its operational work - information which is not publicly available in an understandable form. Includes patent data collected regarding 18 pharmaceuticals in 29 countries, and calls for international organisations to establish a comprehensive, understandable, publicly accessible database of patents and drugs

IPR, innovation, human rights and access to drugs : an annotated bibliography

VIDAL, Jaume

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This annotated bibliography brings together references to scientific, legal and other materials on globalisation, patents and drugs. It is organised into sections on general articles (basic literature on the topic), country studies (by region), thematic sections on TRIPS (the World Trade Organization treaty on patents) and patents, drug research and development, and human rights and access to drugs. Finally a section on electronic information sources highlights useful websites and discussion groups on these issues. Each reference includes full bibliographic information and a thorough, descriptive abstract detailing the key points of each item

Access to antiretroviral drugs in Brazil

December 2002

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Since 1996, the Brazilian Ministry of Health has guaranteed free and universal access to antiretroviral treatment for people living with HIV/AIDS. Implementation of this policy has had political, financial, and logistical challenges. This article investigates the history and context of antiretroviral policy in Brazil, the logistics of the drugs distribution, and the government's strategies for acquisition of the drugs. Many antiretrovirals used in Brazil are produced domestically; the remainder, including some of the most expensive drugs, are purchased from abroad. Although the Brazilian policy of antiretroviral distribution has had notable success, it remains threatened by the high cost of acquisition of drugs, which has led to disputes with international pharmaceutical companies over prices and patents. Whether or not the Brazilian model of guaranteeing access to antiretroviral treatment for people living with HIV/AIDS can be applied in other countries or regions, much can be learned from the country's experience

Integrating intellectual property rights and development policy : report of the commission on intellectual property rights

September 2002

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This detailed and thorough report considers whether and how intellectual property rights (IPRs) can play a role in achieving the Millenium Development Goals. It explores the potential benefits of IPRs in stimulating economic growth, and the associated benefits in terms of productivity and reduced poverty. It considers also the barriers that IPRs may present to developing economies, including discouraging invention, research, technology transfer, domestic production and driving up the costs of medicines and agricultural inputs. Key issues covered in successive chapters include: current evidence about the impact of IPRs in developing countries; development of and access to medicines; protection of plants and genetic resources; the Convention on Biological Diversity, traditional knowledge, cultural expressions and geographic indicators; copyright and patents; IPR legislation for developing countries; international and national institutional framework for IPRs

Network for monitoring the impact of globalization and TRIPS on access to essential medicines

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO). Department of Essential Drugs and Medicines Policy (EDM)

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This report consists of a collection of documents presented at this meeting, which was held to develop a framework for monitoring the impact that globalisation and TRIPS are having on access to medicines. The framework was needed to answer four questions: how is patenting affecting drug pricing; how are patents and enhanced intellectual property rights affecting the development of generic drugs; are TRIPS and expanded intellectual property rights spurring the development of drugs for neglected diseases; and are the TRIPS and expanded intellectual property protections contributing to an increase or decrease in transfer of technology and foreign direct investment to developing countries

Globalization, patents and drugs : an annotated bibliography

BOULET, Pascale

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This annotated bibliography aims to inform people in the health sector, with no particular legal background, about the impact of globalization and trade agreements on access to drugs, and the growing importance of this issue. It directs the reader to key reports, books and articles from technical and scientific journals, both general references and specific country studies. Details of some useful web sites are also given.

Executive summary : globalisation and liberalisation of healthcare services. WTO and the General Agreement on Trade in Services


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This paper begins with a description of the evolution of the TRIPs Agreement. The TRIPs Agreement together with Trade Related Investment Measures (TRIMs) have taken away the powers of economic decision making from the national governments and handed them to the dominant actors in the international market place, namely the transnational corporations (TNCs). The international economic order has been radically restructured by the TRIPs Agreement which encompasses virtually the entire economic spectrum. To understand fully the implications of WTO/TRIPs Agreement on the access of drugs to consumers in the ASEAN region, this paper presents data on the pharmaceutical industry in the region and globally. All these countries have now changed their national legislation on patents in accordance with TRIPs Agreement. They will provide patent protection for pharmaceutical products. These countries will not be able to manufacture any drug under patent protection for a period of 20 years, resulting in the multinational drug companies having a monopoly of all patent protected drugs, leading to the collapse of the pharmaceutical industry in developing countries. The paper concludes that the only way to avoid this and strengthen the pharmaceutical sector in developing countries is through compulsory licensing and parallel imports, which are allowed in the TRIPs Agreement. This will enable consumers in the ASEAN countries to access affordable pharmaceuticals. This, consumers believe, is a short-term solution. The paper also gives a longterm solution, involving a shake up of the international governance system

Intellectual property rights


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The World Trade Organisation (WTO) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) is the most comprehensive international agreement on intellectual property rights, supplemeting the basic World Intellectual Property Organisaton Conventions and substantive obligations within WTO disciplines. The new regime, which offers both benefits and costs, presents a major task of implementation for which developing countries may need help


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