Chilean Cámara de Diputados votes overwhelmingly to advance compulsory licensing of drug patents.

GiorgioJacksonChile.jpgThe Cámara de Diputados of the Chilean Congress voted on January 25, 2017 in favor of Resolution 798, calling on the government to implement compulsory licenses on drugs for cancer and other diseases. The vote was 67 yes, 0 no, and 32 abstentions. The resolution was put forward by Giorgio Jackson and six other members (V. Mirosevic, Miguel Alvarado, Karla Rubilar, Juan Luis Castro, Gabriel Boric, and Victor Torres). The official vote by member name is available here.

The resolution requests that the President of Chile, through the Ministry of Health, use and create protocols for the use of compulsory licenses for pharmaceutical patents as a public policy tool to combat high drug prices and increase access, and, through the Ministry of Economic Development and Tourism, update regulations for the expedited processing of compulsory licenses. The text of the specific requests is below (in Spanish).

The resolution seems to have been buoyed by the recent report by the United Nations Secretary-General's High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines, which is cited in the explanatory text.

The vote is a remarkable and welcome expression of political support by federal lawmakers for the use of compulsory licenses. The members of the Chilean Congress are pressing to put the patent monopoly at risk, rather than the patient. Giorgio Jackson and the other members of Congress who voted overwhelmingly in favor deserve support and appreciation for their leadership on behalf of patient interests and illustrating that to protect human rights, political action is needed.

Resolución No. 798, Sesión 120, Jan 25 2017
[Snip]
ACORDAMOS

Solicitar, por intermedio de S.E. la Presidenta de la República:

1.-Al Ministerio de Salud:
a) Que incorpore y utilice de oficio el mecanismo de las licencias obligatorias que contempla el artículo 51 numeral 2) de la ley propiedad industrial, en especial por razones de Salud Pública y uso de gobierno no comercial, para facilitar su adquisición a precios competitivos tanto por parte de los servicios públicos como por los servicios de salud privados y la población que lo requiera; y en definitiva garantizar su acceso.

b) Que elabore las directrices administrativas, circulares y protocolos o procedimientos dentor del sector salud para la selección y priorización de los productos o procedimientos referidos a medicamentos sujetos a patentes que deban ser considerados para efectos de requerimientos de licencias obligatorias atendiendo razones de salud pública y usos de gobierno no comerciales.

2.- Al Ministerio de Economía, Fomento y Turismo
a)Que revise y actualice la reglamentación del referido artículo 51 de la ley de propiedad industrial 19039 para efectos de desarollar y complementar lo establecido en el referido precepto legal otorgando un mayor grado de fluidez y certeza jurídica para su aplicación por los órganos competentes y los particulares.

b) Que elabore y publique directrices administrativas para el otorgamiento de dichas licencias que sean consistentes con el objectivo de protección del derecho de la salud y la vida, incluyendo parámetros y otros criterios para efectos de la determinación de la remuneración y otras condiciones para el otorgamiento de las referidas licencias.

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[Unofficial English translation follows:
1.-To the Ministry of Health:
A) To incorporate and use the compulsory licensing mechanism provided for in article 51 numeral 2) of the industrial property law, especially for reasons of Public Health and non-commercial government use, to facilitate its acquisition at competitive prices both by the public services as well as by the private health services and the population that requires it; And ultimately guarantee their access.

B) To elaborate administrative directives, circulars and protocols or procedures within the health sector for the selection and prioritization of products or procedures related to medicines subject to patents that must be considered for purposes of compulsory licensing requirements based on public health reasons and non-commercial government use.

2.- The Ministry of Economy, Development and Tourism
A) To review and update the regulation of said article 51 of the industrial property law 19039 for the purpose of developing and complementing what is established in said legal provision, granting a greater degree of fluidity and legal certainty for its application by the competent bodies and Individuals.

B) To develop and publish administrative guidelines for the granting of such licenses consistent with the objective of protection of the right to health and life, including parameters and other criteria for the purposes of determining remuneration and other conditions for the granting of the said licenses.

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