[Ip-health] Chilean government is pushed by activists to pursue compulsory licenses

Kim Treanor kim.treanor at keionline.org
Wed Dec 6 12:53:38 PST 2017


https://www.statnews.com/pharmalot/2017/12/06/chile-patents-compulsory-licenses/

Chilean government is pushed by activists to pursue compulsory licenses
Ed Silverman in Stat News on 6 December 2017

Nearly a year has gone by since several Chilean lawmakers asked the
government to make it possible to issue compulsory licenses for
prescription drugs, but no action was taken. Now, more than two dozen
advocacy groups from around the world are pressing the health ministry to
proceed.

Last January, the lower house of the Chilean congress passed a resolution
instructing the government to make it possible to issue compulsory licenses
for prescription drugs. A few weeks later, several lawmakers asked Chilean
health minister Carmen Castillo Taucher to issue compulsory licenses for
the Xtandi prostate cancer therapy and several hepatitis C medicines sold
by Gilead Sciences (GILD).

“Chile should feel empowered to act in accordance with the best interests
and needs of the health of its citizens. Health budget constraints are
finite, and Chile cannot stand by doing nothing while patients suffer,” the
groups wrote in a Dec. 6 letter to Taucher and Chilean President Michelle
Bachelet Jeria. Among the groups are Public Citizen, Treatment Action
Group, Oxfam, and the Union for Affordable Cancer Treatment.

[snip]

The move comes as a small but growing number of countries consider
compulsory licenses as an option for attempting to lower drug costs.
Countries may grant licenses to a generic drug maker, allowing it to copy a
patented medicine without the consent of the brand-name company that owns
the patent. This right was memorialized in a World Trade Organization
agreement known as Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights,
or TRIPS, (here is a fact sheet).

Drug makers argues that licensing eviscerates intellectual property rights,
but patient advocacy groups counter that industry efforts to enforce patent
rights may come at the expense of patients who cannot afford increasingly
costly medicines. In any event, there have been few instances in which a
country has issued a license, due to concerns about trade repercussions.

[snip]


-- 
Kim Treanor
Knowledge Ecology International
kim.treanor at keionline.org
tel.: +1.202.332.2670 <(202)%20332-2670>


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