[Ip-health] First thoughts on the petition to the Medicines Patent Pool Foundation

Jérôme Martin jeromemartin at samizdat.net
Mon Oct 10 13:37:04 PDT 2011

So, James, what do you suggest now ? To close the debate ? and to the
stupid activists to shut up because YOU only know better ? Is it what
that you call "moving forward" ? Do you think that all the activists
that have signed are just silly ? 

This rhetoric is unbearable. 

Once again, we NEED answers to the questions otherwise we are not
supporting anything and not going anywhere any longer.

Telling, as you just did, that some concerns are not
accurate without justifying it, asserting that the criticisms, questions
and demands of 200 activists are not realistic, calling these crucial
questions "technical" to explain that you have no time to adress it,
adressing the concerns by the leitmotiv of the "pragmatism" ("this is
not possible, trust me, I know better, and if we criticize and demand
too many emprovements, it would destroy everything") : these has nothing
to do with a balanced reaction in a legitimate debate. 

So you should reconsider this public reaction : it is still time to
accept a legitimate and constructive debate, and to act properly with
your partners.

Jérôme Martin
Act Up-Paris

Le lundi 10 octobre 2011 à 14:51 -0400, Jamie Love a écrit :
> Below is a link to a 2,227 word petition begin circulated about the
> medicines patent pool, probably with considerable input from IMAK and the
> http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/mpp/
> The petition is highly critical of the MPP.  It has at this point a large
> number of signatures.   While we agree with some parts of the long petition,
> we disagree with other parts, and will not be signing the petition.   In our
> opinion, some parts of the petition repeat assertions that are not accurate,
> and do not provide a helpful or balanced view of what the Gilead licenses
> did and did not do.  In some other areas, we agree with the concerns set out
> in the petition, for example, as regards the importance of permitting
> generic product outside of India -- a topic that we also think can be
> modified.
> When we have some time to go over the technical details, we will comment
> further.  But in general, the petition will be seen by many, including those
> in UNITAID, as part of an effort to kill the patent pool, or remove its
> current leadership.  If this effort succeeds, where does that leave
> everyone?
> In theory, the licenses could have been better, and indeed, Gilead may agree
> to further amendments -- for example, to allow products from some countries
> outside of India.  However, the sweeping changes in the licenses that are
> set out the petition, while desirable, were not about to happen, and I
> think, won't happen, without something more substantial changing the
> negotiation.    People can set the bar higher -- but setting the bar too
> high means no licenses at this point.
> If the patent pool is stopped from negotiating further licenses, either
> telling them to stop or by setting the bar too high to get further licenses,
> I would ask, why is that a good thing?
> There are some people who want to (a) change national laws to eliminate
> patents on drugs, and failing that to (b) invalidate patents that have been
> granted, and failing that to obtain (c) voluntary or (d) compulsory licenses
> (in different sequences).    No one that has signed the petition and no one
> that has not signed the petition is going to eliminate all of the laws
> requiring the granting of patents, even in LDC countries (Since 2001, there
> has NOT been a rush to change patent laws in LDCs).  No one is going to
> invalidate relevant patents on HIV drugs in 150 countries.  No one is going
> to obtain compulsory license in all countries where patents exist, and
> without some big change in the negotiating strategy, no one is going to
> obtain voluntary licenses for all products and all countries.  For the tens
> of millions of persons living with HIV, all of these mechanisms are
> important.
> As I noted earlier, in some areas, we agree with the petition.  KEI has long
> taken the position that the MPP should issue standardized licenses, and that
> the various proposals for the license should be presented for everyone to
> review  and comment, before they are signed.  The MPP is a norm setting
> process, and it should be open and inclusive.
> The MPP can operate in a more transparent manner than it has, although, in
> defense of the patent pool, it has had an open door, and always been willing
> to meet with people, take calls, and answer questions.  It is only recently
> than many groups have begun to engage on the technical details, and that
> discussion has not always been well informed on some key issues.
> But even with a transparent process, there is the reality that the major
> patent owners are not all ready to give up their patent claims in all
> developing countries.  This is not the fault of the patent pool.   A good
> strategy going forward needs to address this reality, and present a feasible
> path for access to persons living with HIV.
> Without some game changing innovations in the negotiating strategy, the
> patent pool licenses from big drug companies will only cover some products
> and some countries.   In our opinion, the most important thing to push for
> in the licenses is that the licenses are open, not bundled, and that they
> freely permit license holders to challenge patents, patent laws, and obtain
> compulsory licenses.   The MPP licenses did this.  The many countries left
> outside of the license area have to have a strategy to obtain access to the
> new drugs.  The MPP licenses do make them better off in one important way --
> they create a competitive source of supplies, in the event that they can
> obtain a paragraph 6 request from India to supply their markets.  No one
> thinks this is perfect.  But people who are being negative should set out
> the alternatives.

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