[Ip-health] Bloomberg: India, China Able to Win Drug Patent Flexibility, Minister Says

Thirukumaran Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Fri Jul 15 02:19:48 PDT 2011


<SNIP>

China said last month it may seek compulsory licensing for an AIDS drug made by Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD) Compulsory licensing is when a government allows someone else to produce a patented product without the consent of the patent owner, according to the World Trade Organization. It is one of the flexibilities allowed under WTO rules that took effect in 1995.

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http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-07-12/nortel-gilead-gateway-gaming-drug-patent-intellectual-property.html

By Victoria Slind-Flor - Jul 12, 2011 1:01 PM GMT+0200

India, China Able to Win Drug Patent Flexibility, Minister Says

Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa acting as a group are better able to obtain flexibility in patent enforcement so that poorer countries have more access to treatments for AIDS, malaria and other diseases, said India’s health minister.

“There are countries that would like patents to stay for decades and decades, meaning the poor will have no access to these medicines,” India’s Minister of Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad said in an interview in Beijing yesterday. “But there are some flexibilities when there is an acute public health requirement. We want those flexibilities to be there in case of new drug innovations.”

Azad was in the Chinese capital for a meeting of health ministers from the so-called BRICS grouping of nations, which today issued a statement supporting “innovative mechanisms” for transferring intellectual property rights so that cheaper drugs can be supplied to low and middle income countries. Yesterday’s gathering was the first by the five health ministers, who said they may meet again in September.

China said last month it may seek compulsory licensing for an AIDS drug made by Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD) Compulsory licensing is when a government allows someone else to produce a patented product without the consent of the patent owner, according to the World Trade Organization. It is one of the flexibilities allowed under WTO rules that took effect in 1995.

Under compulsory licensing, the generic copy of a drug is mainly produced for the domestic market and not for export, according to the WTO.

“We should be able to have a more flexible method, so hi- tech developments in more developed countries can be made available to lower income countries,” Tatyana Golikova, Russia’s health and social development minister, said at a briefing held after the meeting.

The ministers, in their joint statement, said they had agreed to establish a working group to discuss specific proposals for a possible patent transfer mechanism.

In addition to India’s Azad and Russia’s Golikova, the meeting was also attended by China’s Chen Zhu, Brazil’s Alexandre Padilha and South Africa’s Aaron Motsoaledi. World Health Organization Director General Margaret Chan and Michel Sidibé, executive director of the United Nations’ UNAIDS program, also attended.


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Thiru Balasubramaniam
Geneva Representative
Knowledge Ecology International (KEI)

thiru at keionline.org



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