[Ip-health] SCP25 - Opening statement of the European Union on Patents and Health

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Wed Dec 14 06:21:17 PST 2016


WIPO - Standing Committee on Law of Patents - 25th session - Patents and

Geneva, 13/12/2016
Statements on behalf of the EU

World Intellectual Property Rights Organization
Standing Committee on Law of Patents
25th session - Patents and Health
EU Opening Statement

Madam Chair,

The European Union and its Member States are committed to increasing access
to affordable medicines and to find solutions to the world's pressing
public health challenges and inequities. In line with the 2010
Communication and Council Conclusions on 'the EU role in Global Health',
the EU pursues a rights-based approach to health. Strengthening all areas
of a health system, including the availability of qualified health workers,
the provision of affordable medicines and the adequate financing of the
sector, is central to moving towards universal health coverage with quality
health services accessible and affordable for all. The quality and
integrity of the pharmaceutical distribution chain is also essential to
improving public health.

The current innovation model, including the role of trade related to IP,
has delivered consistent progress in global public health, leading to key
new and improved treatments as well as much extended life expectancy, both
in developed and least developed countries. This model already integrates a
variety of tools such as incentives for innovation based on intellectual
property, on public and private financing and awards or on public research.
Such variety is necessary to address situations, where there is a
functioning market and those where there could be market failures.

The European Union and its Member States take note of the contribution
provided by the Report of the United Nations Secretary-General's High-Level
Panel on Access to Medicines, and of the subsequent message of the
Secretary-General, which encourages all stakeholder to chart a way forward
in appropriate fora to ensure access to medicines and health technologies
for all who need them, wherever they are. We would recall that the HLP is
not a MS-driven process and that WIPO remains a MS-driven organisation. The
HLP report has not been endorsed by any UN body or agency, nor did the
members of the HLP reach consensus on the recommendations contained in the
report. We would also like to recall the important and authoritative
contribution of the tri-lateral WIPO-WTO-WHO study entitled “Promoting
access to medical technologies” to discussions on this topic.

Thank you, Madam Chair.

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