Dr Carlos Maria Correa, an Argentinian economist and lawyer, is globally renowned for his expertise on international trade, intellectual property, health, technology transfer, investment policy and especially their impact on developing countries. He has authored several books and academic articles and been a visiting professor at several universities. Additionally, he has consulted with many United Nations agencies, the World Bank, and other regional and international organisations and has advised several governments on intellectual property, innovation policy and public health. Correa was a member of the UK Commission on Intellectual Property, of the Commission on Intellectual Property, Innovation and Public Health established by the World Health Assembly and of the FAO Panel of Eminent Experts on Ethics in Food and Agriculture. Currently, he is the Director of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies on Industrial Property and Economics Law, at the University of Buenos Aires. He takes over as the Executive Director of the Secretariat of the Geneva-based South Centre from 1 July 2018. Correa recently engaged in an interview with Patralekha Chatterjee for Intellectual Property Watch. [Note: this interview is number two of two. The first, with Dr Othoman Mellouk, is available here.] Continue reading ->
Dr Othoman Mellouk is a Moroccan treatment advocate who has been working on intellectual property and access to medicines for more than a decade. He is the Intellectual Property and Access to Medicines Lead at the international treatment preparedness coalition (ITPC), a global network of people living with HIV and their advocates working together to achieve access to HIV and Viral Hepatitis and a member of the WHO Strategic and Technical Advisory Committee on HIV and Hepatitis. Dr Mellouk started off in the Association for the Fight against AIDS which has been at the forefront of the response to HIV in Morocco and the introduction of the first anti-HIV generic medicines in the country. In a series supported by the Make Medicines Affordable organisation, Mellouk recently engaged in an interview with Patralekha Chatterjee for Intellectual Property Watch. Continue reading ->
Falsified and substandard medical products continue to be a global concern, and how those products are characterised is important to avoid confusion, particularly with intellectual property rights infringement. A panel convened by Brazil, India and South Africa yesterday at the World Trade Organization looked at the implications of a new definition of such products at the neighbouring World Health Organization. Continue reading ->
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General in his inaugural speech at the World Health Assembly this week, explained that partnerships are a key strategy for the WHO to ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages. He added that the WHO is engaging with the private sector as a crucial partner in achieving health for all. Thomas Cueni, IFPMA’s Director General, in an interview with Health Policy Watch on the occasion of the IFPMA’s 50-year anniversary, explains how the research-based biopharmaceutical industry together with IFPMA have contributed to the huge strides in health progress over 50 years. He explains the major leaps forward, setbacks and mistakes, as well as how industry is part of the solution, as "do-ers" and partners in global health progress. Cueni also talks about pricing and cost of R&D. Continue reading ->
Using flexibilities in the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) has long been an issue of the developing world. But policymakers gathered at a meeting on access to health in Brussels today said there was an urgent need for European Union countries, too, to make more use of flexibilities. Continue reading ->
AIDS activists, health activists and civil society organizations in Brazil and Argentina are pushing back against the negative effects of the planned free trade agreement between the Mercosur countries and the European Union. The EU-Mercosur negotiations might be the best chance as of now to advance an intellectual property agenda that is more favourable to access to health, says Pedro Villardi, coordinator on IP policy issues at the Associação Brasiliera Interdisciplinar de Aids Observatorio National de Politicas de Aids (ABIA). Continue reading ->
This week the media reported that the Brazilian federal court removed the patent protection for eculizumab, sold under the brand name Soliris by Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. Eculizumab is used in the treatment of paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH), a rare and life-threatening blood disease. The product was approved by the US FDA for this indication in 2016. Brazil’s health care system spent $184.2 million to treat 442 patients with Soliris, an average of over $416,000 per patient. The patent office expects that more revocations may follow. This blog explains why this is. Continue reading ->
Intellectual property rights, particularly patents, are considered by some as being a barrier in access to medicines despite being a stimulus for innovation. At a recent symposium co-organised by the World Health Organization, World Trade Organization and World Intellectual Property Organization, speakers also talked about the role of science, governments, and universities in health innovation and access, and how to address challenges such as secondary patents. Continue reading ->