Access to Medicines

Broken promise by President Obama on parallel trade in pharmaceuticals

As candidates, almost all democrats have promised voters, in several elections, they will support parallel trade in pharmaceuticals from Canada and other high income countries. As elected officials, nothing happens. President Obama already has authority to permit imports of medicines, if he wanted to exercise it. But not only is the White House not fullfillinbg the promise to allow imports, it has promised the CEO of PhRMA and several big companies that they won’t allow parallel trade in the health reform bill.

Howard Dean: “I’m actually not a shill for the bio industry”

The Center for American Progress hosted a video conference of Dr. Howard Dean talking about Health Care reform on Tueday. The video is on the web here. On this one hour program, Howard Dean spends a little over 3 minutes responding to allegations that he is a “shill” for BIO, on the issue of biosimilars.

Anna Eshoo Biosimilars (HR1548) bill has bad provisions on data exclusivity

Congress should reject the 12-14.5 year monopoly for biologic products provided for in HR 1548

KEI* opposes H.R.1548, the bill to “establish a pathway for the licensure of biosimilar biological products,” on the grounds that the period of the monopoly is excessive, and not subject to safeguards that would protect consumers.

Margaret Chan on “new initiatives, and new incentive schemes”

At the WIPO Conference on Intellectual Property and Public Policy Issues today, Margaret Chan, the Director General of the World Health Organization, made the following speech at WIPO’s Conference on Intellectual Property and Public Policy Issues on the topic of “Strengthening Multilateral Cooperation on IP and Public Health” where she shared the limelight with Pascal Lamy, Director General of the World Trade Organ

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,

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.

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.

Press Advisory: NGO letters to WHO & WTO on Dutch seizures of generic medicines in-transit from India to Brazil, Colombia & Peru

February 19, 2009

Press Advisory on NGO letters to WHO and WTO on topic of Dutch seizures of generic medicines in-transit from India to Brazil, Colombia and Peru.

In response to news about four seizures of generic medicines manufactured in India and shipped through the Netherlands in route to Brazil, Colombia and Peru, sixteen public health, consumer and development NGOs have sent separate letters to the heads of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO).

FTC Alleges Price Gouging, Monopoly For Baby Medicines

This was the title the Washington Post today gave the AP story.

This was the title of the FTC Press release:

Unbranding Medicines — Harvard workshop on generics

Today I am at Harvard, attending a workshop titled: Unbranding Medicines: the politics, promise, and challenge of generic drugs. This is put on by the Harvard Interfaculty Initiative on Medicines and Society. The program in general is quite impressive, particularly as regards to the depth of experience and knowledge about the generic drug industry, including its early origins.

I was asked to speak about the use of prizes. The slides from my presentation are here:

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