[Ip-health] Oxfam comment on HLP report

Jamie Love james.love at keionline.org
Wed Sep 14 07:08:57 PDT 2016

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Mohga Kamal-Yanni <mkamalyanni at oxfam.org.uk>
Date: Wed, Sep 14, 2016 at 8:43 AM
Subject: Oxfam comment on HLP report

*Dear IP-health*



For immediate release: Wednesday 14 September

*Governments must act on new UN Report to bring down the cost of medicines
says Oxfam*

Oxfam welcomed a groundbreaking new report on access to medicines published
today by a High Level Panel of the United Nations and called for the UN to
work with governments to implement its recommendations without delay.
During the Panel’s deliberations, the US State Department and
pharmaceutical industry criticized the report and expert group,
politicizing the process and putting the Panel’s crucial recommendations at

Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam, and a member of the High
Level Panel that produced the report said:

“This report gets to the heart of the problem with access to medicines –
that the intellectual property rules promoted by the pharmaceutical
industry are at odds with the human right to health. If implemented the
report’s recommendations will go a long way towards ensuring all people
have access to affordable quality medicines.

“Access to medicines is not just a poor country problem. The high price of
drugs is crippling healthcare systems across the world. Millions of people
are suffering and dying because the medicines they need are too expensive.
The UN should work with governments to ensure the report’s recommendations
are acted upon straight away.”

The price of new medicines has risen dramatically in recent years:

·        Portrazza, a new drug to treat lung cancer is expected to cost
$11,430 a month in the US - six times the $1,870 that leading oncologists
say is a fair reflection of the benefit the drug offers compared with older

·        In South Africa the cost of a Linezolid pill – used in the
treatment of drug resistant Tuberculosis - put the drug out of the reach of
the majority of people until the patent expired and the government was able
to provide a generic equivalent at a cost of just $6.86 per pill.

·        The cost of medicines to treat Hepatitis C can over $100,000 per
patient. In France, it was calculated that providing medicines to treat all
people with Hepatitis C would exceed the annual budget of the public
hospitals in Paris. The Netherlands government’s submission to the HLP
said: “We have an estimated 20,000 patients with this disease... such costs
make our healthcare unaffordable. If we continue in this way, it will
become nearly impossible to reimburse patients for these medications.

The panels recommendations include: governments begin to negotiate a new
global agreement on research and development (R&D) based on the human right
to health which de-links the financing of R&D from the price of products;
increasing public financing for R&D; and ensuring countries have the power
to protect access to affordable medicines under international trade rules
and in free trade agreements.

Oxfam calls on the UN to take further steps to explore more bold
recommendations such as immediate ban on intellectual property rules in
trade agreements.

*Notes to editors*

More information on the High Level Panel can be found here:

A briefing note on the UN High Level Panels report is available

Oxfam’s expert spokespeople are available for interview.

* Contact*

Anna Ratcliff +44 (0) 7796993288 or *anna.ratcliff at oxfaminternational.org*
<anna.ratcliff at oxfaminternational.org>

Mohga -Dictating to the computer so please forgive silly mistakes
Mohga Kamal-Yanni
Senior health & HIV policy advisor, Oxfam GB
Editor of www.globalhealthcheck.org
John Smith Drive, Oxford, OX4 2JY, UK (GMT, CET-1, EDT+5, EST+6)
UK Mobile   + 44 (0)777 62 55 884
Follow me @MohgaKamalYanni

Oxfam works with others to overcome poverty and suffering

Oxfam GB is a member of Oxfam International and a company limited by
guarantee registered in England No. 612172.
Registered office: Oxfam House, John Smith Drive, Cowley, Oxford, OX4 2JY.
A registered charity in England and Wales (no 202918) and Scotland (SC

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