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

Indian Minister of State for External Affairs broaches seizures of generics at ECOSOC

Note: Only a portion of the speech is reproduced here.

High-Level Segment of the Economic and Social Council
Special Event on Africa and the Least Developed Countries:
Partnerships and Health
(1130 – 1330 hrs, 8 July 2009, Geneva

Intervention by Hono’ble Minister of State for External Affairs, Smt. Preneet Kaur

Hon’ble Co-Chairs/Madam Moderator, Distinguished Delegates,

WIPO stalemate: No agreement reached on genetic resources, traditional knowledge and folklore

*The author thanks Professor Marc Perlman (Brown University) for his comprehensive notes on the IGC deliberations.

Pope Benedict XVI encyclical letter denounces excessive zeal for assertions of intellectual property rights in knowledge

Pope Benedict XVI today issued a statement saying that “On the part of rich countries, there is excessive zeal for protecting knowledge through an unduly rigid assertion of the right to intellectual property, especially in the field of health care.” The criticism came in a section of his most recent encyclical letter dealing with social issues, and specifically focusing on international human development and systemic failures of bodies large and small to solve development problems.

TransAtlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD) resolution on copyright terms

TACD has issued a resolution on copyright terms, and measures to mitigate the harm from excessive terms. The TACD Press release follows:

WHO releases sketchy report on second meeting of Expert Working Group on R&D Financing

The World Health Organization just published a report on this week’s second meeting of the WHO Expert Working Group (EWG) on R&D Financing.

Civil Society letter to Members of the WHO Expert Working Group on R&D Financing

Today nine NGOs sent a letter the WHO Expert Working Group on R&D Financing. The letter focuses on issues about transparency, conflicts of interest, and EWG outcomes. The whole EWG seems to be going very badly right now, in part because of the US government and much of Northern Europe is working hand and glove with the pharmaceutical industry, and partly because the Gates Foundation is protecting big pharma and seems to have an ideological attachment to strong IPR.

The Netflix prize, about to be won

Apparently at least one entrant has qualified to win the $1 million Netflix grand prize. One can follow the progress of the teams on the Netflix Leaderboard: http://www.netflixprize.com/leaderboard.

Auren Hoffman on productivity gains from open source software

According to Rapleaf CEO and venture capitalist Auren Hoffman, open source software has dramatically increased the productivity of software engineers. In a June 23, 2009 article in Tech Crunch titled “Engineers Are The Best Deal – So Stock Up On Them,” Hoffman writes:

Switzerland’s intellectual property rules are often different from what you might expect

The US Department of State “2009 Investment Climate Statement for Switzerland” provides an interesting and often unexpected portrait of the intellectual property landscape for a country that is often a hard-liner in global IPR negotiations.

US guts transparency clause in PAHO R&D resolution

The PAHO negotiations on the R&D resolution has produced a new draft, which radically guts the provision on transparency of pharmaceutical industry economics.

The US opposed this language:

“(j) to develop, with input from Member States, a possible standard for disclosure of economic data for drug registered for sale, including disclosures of the costs of R&D, the prices of products, and the annual revenues from the sale of products.”

The US agreed to this language:

Meet the chief US ACTA negotiator: Kira Alvarez, the Deputy Assistant USTR for IP Enforcement

Kira Alvarez is the Deputy Assistant USTR for Intellectual Property Enforcement, and the chief US negotiator for ACTA. According to her Linkedin bio, as late as October 2008, right before the election, she was the Time Warner Vice President for Global Public Policy, and before that, she was a lobbyist for Ely Lilly, the pharmaceutical company.

PAHO dispute over standards for transparency of economic data for pharmaceutical industry

Today the executive board of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is considering a proposal to have more transparency of the economics of the pharmaceutical industry. (I have separately blogged about this on the Huffpo). Specifically, an amendment offered to a PAHO EB resolution on research, proposed the following:

Designing Prizes

I just finished a two day meeting in Manchester, England, in a meeting of Joe Stigltiz’s Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD) Task Force on Intellectual Property and Development. The meeting was held at the University of Manchester’s Brooks World Poverty Institute. The agenda and conference papers for the meeting are on the web here, including a paper on prizes I wrote with Tim Hubbard.

Views on the outcome of WIPO SCCR 18: Brazil, Ecuador and Paraguay Treaty for Reading Disabilities

On Friday, May 29, the 18th Session of the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) agreed to consider a proposal submitted by the governments of Brazil, Ecuador and Paraguay Relating to Limitations and Exceptions on a Treaty for Reading Disabled Persons at its next meeting in November 2009 (19th Session). KEI has collated views on the outcome of the 18th SCCR from the following countries and NGOs.

Views on the outcome of WIPO SCCR 18: Brazil, Ecuador and Paraguay Treaty for Reading Disabled Persons

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