[Ip-health] KEI statement on Exclusions from Patentable Subject Matter and Exceptions and Limitations to the Rights

david at davidhammerstein.org david at davidhammerstein.org
Wed Oct 13 10:26:15 PDT 2010

European Governments unilaterally slash cost of medicines

Public health systems in Europe can no longer pay their pharmaceutical  
bills and have started to do something about it.

What began in Spain and Greece  as a response to budget deficits has  
now become a general trend. Now national drug-pricing authorities  
across Europe are taking on run-away health spending in the context of  
severe financial constraints.
Underway is a new harmonization in the way governments assess the  
value of medicines.

Germany recently decided to cut up to 2 billion euros from drug  
purchases. Spain will have cut 1.6 billion from its 2010 bill while  
paying from 7.5% to 25% less for generic and patented medicines.  
Greece and Italy have announced cuts of 1.2 and 1.6 billion  
respectively in public drug expenditures. Other countries that have  
also decided to pay lower prices for frequently used health products  
are: Denmark (40m), Belgium (380 million), France (250m.), Ireland  
(170 m.), Portugal (80 m) and Switzerland (200 m.).

Big pharma firms such as Glazosmithkline are already crying wolf and  
claiming that they won´t be able to finance the research of new drugs.

What is evident is that the present model of medical innovation is  
more and more unable to deliver the affordable products that our  
society needs.  It is not only the poor countries of the global South  
or countries in eastern Europe, but even the wealthiest public health  
systems of the world that cannot bear the burden of exorbitant prices  
for medicine.

Maybe the time has come to stop leaving the future of access to  
medicines in the hands of a few pharmaceutical monopolies and to  
explore new models of making medicines that are fairer, more useful  
and more affordable.

This will be the objective of a conference in the European Parliament  
on November 18th organized by the TransAtlantic Consumer Diaolgue,   
Health Action International, Oxfam and Knowledge Ecology International  
under the auspices of MEPs Eva Joly, Thijs Berman and Carl Schlyter. 

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