[Ip-health] Pharmalot: China Eyes Mandatory Licensing For AIDS Meds

odilon couzin ocouzin at gmail.com
Fri Jul 8 08:12:27 PDT 2011


It is very nice to see Hao Yang saying that they "don't rule out" compulsory
licensing. We have been advocating for this in China since 2003, and there
have occasionally been encouraging noises like this. However, I don't think
we can read too much into such a statement - much more aggressive comments
have been made by MOH officials in the past. China is well versed in quiet
negotiations with pharmaceutical companies, and if the price comes down
(right now they're paying too much for EFV, LPV/r and TDF) then they may not
feel the need for a CL.

Another thing that is pretty clear is that Chinese companies could, if given
the green light, produce affordable drugs for both their own patients and
those in the rest of the developing world. It would be wonderful if China
would use the TRIPS flexibilities - which are after all perfectly legal and
would be a reasonable choice given the prices they are being charged and
needs of their people - but it remains a big question mark whether the
leaders will risk the wrath of the USTR.

It's unclear what the quote from Mark Stirling means in this article - what
exactly is the "cost" of compulsory licensing? Should this be read as UNAIDS
warning against CL, or is this taken out of context?

Odilon Couzin
Hong Kong



On Fri, Jul 8, 2011 at 10:53 PM, Thirukumaran Balasubramaniam <
thiru at keionline.org> wrote:

>
> http://www.pharmalot.com/2011/07/china-eyes-mandatory-licensing-for-aids-meds/
>
> China Eyes Mandatory Licensing For AIDS Meds
>
> Make a comment
> By Ed Silverman // July 5th, 2011 // 7:18 am
>
> China may use mandatory licensing to secure cheaper drugs for HIV/AIDS
> patients as the nation’s health authority prepares to expand coverage. Drugs
> will be offered free to couples in which one partner has HIV/AIDS and the
> other is negative, which are estimated to be 30,000 on  the mainland, Hao
> Yang, deputy director of the disease prevention and control bureau at the
> Ministry of Health, tells China Daily. Currently, only full-blown AIDS
> patients receive this.
>
> Chinese experts with the Ministry of Health are now busy drafting a new
> protocol and organizing training for medical workers and community-based
> organizations, according to Hao. “Once in practice, the drug supply has to
> be tremendously increased and to secure affordable AIDS intervention, we
> don’t rule out the possibility of issuing compulsory licensing for patented
> pharmaceuticals needed” for antiretroviral therapy, he tells the paper.
>
> Last January, China amended a patent regulation to give a clear definition
> of “patented pharmaceuticals” that are subject to compulsory licensing. Yin
> Xintian, director of the legal affairs department of the State Intellectual
> Property Office, tells the paper the move would make the compulsory
> licensing system compatible with the need to cope with public health crises.
>
> China has an estimated 740,000 people living with HIV/AIDS on the mainland
> and 100,000 full-blown AIDS patients are on ART treatment provided free by
> the government, according to the paper, citing official statistics.
>
> Mark Stirling, country coordinator of the UNAIDS China Office, says the
> government could bargain over prices with international suppliers as the
> need for drugs increases due to expanded treatment for prevention.
> “Stakeholders including the government, community-based organizations and
> domestic pharmaceutical companies, should first be organized to look at the
> cost of compulsory licensing,” he tells the paper.
>
>
> ----------------------------------------
>
>
> Thiru Balasubramaniam
> Geneva Representative
> Knowledge Ecology International (KEI)
>
> thiru at keionline.org
>
>
>
> Tel: +41 22 791 6727
> Mobile: +41 76 508 0997
>
>
>
>
>
>
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