[Ip-health] Froman's Choice

Jamie Love james.love at keionline.org
Fri Oct 16 06:04:31 PDT 2015

Ambassador Michael Froman has a chance to seal a deal, supported by the
European Commission and all developing countries, to eliminate the WTO
obligations for drug patents for all WTO member countries, as long as they
are classified as a Least Developed Countries (as in really really poor).

This involves a billion persons.  I loved Chase Perfect's video on the
negotiation, it gets right to the point.

I think everything on USTR, including George York, and everyone at USPTO,
including Shira Perlmutter, Karin Ferriter (the hardliner Shira has
assigned to block the LDC request), and Michelle Lee, the head of the
USPTO, know what is a stake.  They have certainly been lobbied by all sides
on this issue since the beginning of the year.

Froman, representing Obama and Biden, could do something amazing, for a
billion poor people, and get the WTO drug patent rules off their back.
With per capita outlays on health care of about $50 per year, this does
nothing to PhRMA company profits, and it provides the stability that is
needed to amend patent laws and invest in local manufacturing capacity for
new drugs.

Instead, today Froman offered a few more years of temporary transition,
kicking the issue down the road for a future president or another country
to have a chance to block further extensions, and enough uncertainty to
undermine meaningful legislative reforms in LDCs.

In my mind, this is worst than even the worst outcomes proposed for the
TPP, and the most unforgivable thing Forman will do in his whole privileged

Thanks but no thanks too to everyone in the inter-agency review process
that put their own careers ahead of the lives of a billion persons living
in extreme poverty, and watched this slide through.  Good for you being a
team player.  I hope you think it is worth it.


James Love.  Knowledge Ecology International
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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