[Ip-health] MSF statement to WIPO SCP, 22nd Session

Jennifer Reid Jennifer.Reid at newyork.msf.org
Tue Jul 28 07:45:58 PDT 2015

MSF statement to WIPO SCP 22 given 27 July 2015:


WIPO Standing Committee on the Law of Patents, 22nd Session

Yuanqiong Hu
27 July 2015

WIPO Standing Committee on the Law of Patents: Twenty-second session

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) would like to first express our regret that 
there was no agreement on the future work programme in the last Standing 
Committee on the Law of Patents (SCP), and would anticipate substantive 
progress to be made before this Committee, especially on the issues of 
patents and public health, including the proposal submitted by the African 
Group on public health and patents.

MSF would like to remind the Committee that 2014 and 2015 have witnessed a 
number of increased public health challenges at a global scale facing many 
Member States of this Committee. A number of examples are worth 
highlighting. For instance, the Ebola crisis last year further 
demonstrated the failure of the patent-centric innovation system in 
biopharmaceutical sectors. To offer another example, the increasing 
epidemic of hepatitis C has become a challenge to both developed and 
developing countries, while the medicines are priced out of reach of many. 
In addition, the newly revised World Health Organization (WHO) Model List 
of Essential Medicines has included new medicines treating hepatitis C, 
cancer and drug-resistant TB. All of these new medicines remain under 
heavy patent thickets and would present concerns for many Member States in 
this Committee in getting access.

Therefore, as a general statement, MSF calls on this Committee and the 
Member States to keep connecting patent discussion with social reality; to 
not discuss normative issues in isolation from prominent social impacts 
such as those related to health; and to recognize the increasing public 
health challenges facing many Member States of the Committee and to make 
concrete progress on the proposal of public health and patents. In 
addition, MSF hopes this Committee can mainstream public health 
considerations in other substantive discussions. For instance, in the 
discussion of inventive steps, national provisions on inventiveness that 
have proven to promote public health should be discussed, such as Section 
3(d) of India’s Patent Act.

Finally, MSF also hopes the Committee can continue working on the issue of 
mandatory disclosure of International Nonproprietary Names (INN), which 
was not concluded in the last session. MSF believes that disclosure of INN 
remains crucial for public health agencies and non-governmental 
organizations to effectively monitor public health-sensitive patents at an 
early stage. We also feel that the requirement of INN disclosure would 
help to direct more rational filing behaviours of the applicants and help 
to prevent abuse of the patent system.
Thank you.


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