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Why is it a big mistake to link funding of R&D costs with drug prices?:

Seven being considered for new US Register of Copyrights

Apparently it is now down to seven final candidates to be the new US Register of Copyrights. These include two employees of the Copyright Office (Carson and Kasunic), a lawyer in private practice (Fries), a full time professor (Brauneis), a professor/USPTO negotiator (Hughes), a trade negotiator (McCoy), and a representative of a trade association (Perlmutter). By gender, the finalists are two women, and five men.

They are, in alphabetical order:

Robert Brauneis

WBU suspends participation in WIPO & EU Stakeholder discussions, pending agreement at WIPO on legal framework

On February 26, 2011, the World Blind Union issued a statement announcing it would "suspend participation in the WIPO Stakeholder Platform and EU Stakeholder Dialogue projects, pending agreement at WIPO on a proper binding legal framework." [See full statement below]. The WBU statement is expected to dramatically change the environment for considering a new WIPO treaty for persons who are blind or have other disabilities.

38 groups (including KEI) ask Congress to make CRS reports public

Congressional Research Service reports are prepared in response to requests from members of congress. For decades, right to know groups have been asking that they be available online. The CRS describes itself as follows:

KEI comments on USTR 2011 Special 301 Review

KEI's comments on the USTR 2011 Special 301 Review are available here.

For further background on the 301 process, see: http://keionline.org/ustr/special301

KEI letter to WHO regarding McKinsey, vaccine policy and competing interests

On 15 February 2011, the Co-Chairs of the WHO Open-Ended Working Group of Member States on Pandemic Influenza Preparedness: sharing of influenza viruses and access to vaccines and other benefits (OEWG) held a consultation with civil society. The Co-chairs of the OEWG are Ambassador J. Gomez-Camacho, Mexico and Ambassador B. Angell-Hansen, Norway.

Greens/EFA MEPs Engström, Sargentini, Beliér, Albrecht ask question on ACTA and Vienna Convention

Four Green/EFA MEPs (from four parties and four countries) have asked a follow-up question on ACTA and the Vienna Connection, trying to get at the "is the US bound?" issue.

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Greens/EFA MEPs Christian Engström, Judith Sargentini, Sandrine Beliér and Jan Albrecht have asked the European Commission this follow-up question on ACTA and Vienna Convention:

WikiLeaks cable details UK/US strategy during IGWG negotiations in 2007

On 4 February 2011, WikiLeaks passed on to the UK newspaper, The Telegraph, a cable dated 1 November 2007 from the US Embassy in London entitled "UK AGREES WITH US APPROACH TO UPCOMING WHO INTERGOVERNMENTAL WORKING GROUP ON PUBLIC HEALTH, INNOVATION, AND IP" signed by "LEBARON".

Judit Rius takes position as U.S. Manager of MSF's Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines

At the end of the month, Judit Rius will be leaving KEI and joining MSF in New York as U.S. Manager of MSF's Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines. Judit has been with KEI since 2006, and from the beginning, contributed greatly to nearly every aspect of KEI's work. We will miss her a lot. At MSF, Judit will work closely with another talented former KEI lawyer, Michelle Childs. We wish Judit well in her new position, and congratulate MSF on the appointment.

KEI comments on Tibotec voluntary licenses of a new HIV-AIDS product

Today, Tibotec, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, announced it has signed voluntary licensing agreements with several Indian and South African generic companies to allow generic competition on a new HIV-AIDS treatment, the investigational non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor rilpivirine hydrochloride (TMC278) (rilpivirine hydrochloride), to certain developing countries.

Le Monde: L’OMS face à un nouveau conflit d’intérêts

The following is an article by Agathe Duparc which appeared on page four of the Sunday/Monday edition (23 January-24 January 2011) of Le Monde with a reference on the cover page. Below the article are two paragraphs providing readers with more background information on the World Health Assembly and the Executive Board. The third paragraph is the main quote highlighted in the print version. What is missing in this copy below is a cartoon accompanying the piece which shows a bespectacled man with a body of an octopus holding two syringes in a field of dollar signs.

Response to Mary Moran on managing conflicts of interest at the WHO CEWG

This is a response to an email message posted to a2k and ip-health by Dr. Mary Moran. Among other things, the missive raises the issue of what constitutes a conflict of interest, and also how such conflicts should be managed. Dr. Moran has asked for a response, and this is it.

Dear Dr. Moran,

WHO Executive Board accepts appointment of Herrling to Consultative Expert Working Group on R&D

After several days of negotiations, the 128th WHO Executive Board has accepted the nomination of Paul Herrling to the new WHO Consultative Expert Working Group on R&D Financing, despite the fact that Herrling is an executive of Novartis, and is the author of the IFPMA/Novartis/FRIND proposal and the co-author of the PDP Plus proposal, which will be considered by the CEWG.

Nine civil society groups write WHO Executive Board about conflict of interest on WHO R&D Financing group

On January 20, 2011, 9 civil society organizations sent a letter to the WHO Executive Board registering an objection to the selection of Dr. Paul Herrling of Novartis to the WHO Consultative Expert Working Group on Research and Development: Financing and Coordination. The groups signing the letter were:

  • CIDEPRO
  • Déclaration de Berne - Berne Declaration
  • HAI Europe
  • HAI Global
  • Health GAP (Global Access Project)

WHO Conflict of Interest Guidelines

WHO has kindly made available its conflict of interest guidelines. Apparently they are not available from the public web page. Attached are two documents:

A few of the many interesting provisions follow:

I. MEANING OF "CONFLICT OF INTEREST"
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