[Ip-health] The lack of patented cancer drugs on the WHO and country Essential Medicines List (EML) is a shame for big pharma, not a defense.

Jamie Love james.love at keionline.org
Sat Mar 8 07:21:47 PST 2014


>From our March 7, 2012 comments on the Special 301.
http://keionline.org/node/1976

4. The lack of patented cancer drugs on the WHO and country Essential
Medicines List (EML) is a shame for big pharma, not a defense.

It is true that the WHO has almost no patented drugs on its model essential
medicines list, and none for cancer, and many developing countries do not
have many or any patented cancer drugs on similar national lists of
essential medicines. This does not mean that such medicines are not
essential for keeping someone alive. It means they are so expensive a
country with few resources cannot justify spending money on them. For every
industry lobbyist, and for every member of the USTR staff, the White House,
the Vice-President's Office, the USPTO, the US Department of State, the
Department of Commerce, and the Department of Health and Human Services
(DHHS), ask yourself, would you choose an insurance program for yourself or
your family that did not pay for patented cancer drugs? If not, why should
people living in developing country be treated as if they did not benefit
from access to those same drugs?

It is true that some people living in developing countries do not have
access to medical services that make some cancer treatments feasible. It is
not true that everyone living in a developing country lacks the services to
make those treatments feasible. People living in developing countries
should have the freedom and the opportunity to expand access to cancer
treatments, whenever and for whomever this is possible. The lack of
universal access is not an argument for reducing access even further. I'm
not sure why anyone has to even say this, but judging from some of the
testimonies at the February 24, 2014 hearing, it apparently bears repeating.


--
James Love.  Knowledge Ecology International
http://www.keionline.org, KEI DC tel: +1.202.332.2670, US Mobile:
+1.202.361.3040, Geneva Mobile: +41.76.413.6584,   twitter.com/jamie_love



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