[Ip-health] Fwd: Bill Clinton's remarks on World AIDS Day?

Baker, Brook b.baker at neu.edu
Mon Dec 5 14:41:36 PST 2011

Virtually all the medicines that are tentatively approved by the FDA are
still blocked by innovator patents in the US.  The US grants voluminous
patents on medicines as it has low standards of patentability, including
for medicines, whereby it evergreens patents by allowing new 20-year
patents on new forms (chemical variations) of existing medicines, new
dosages and formulations, new combinations, and new uses.  Accordingly Big
Pharma is a patenting machine (for example ritonavir has 800 families of
patents on the medicine and processes for making it).

It would be perfectly possible for Big Pharma to voluntarily issue
licenses to FDA-approved manufacturers for sales in the US, but there's
little or no incentive for them to do so.  The antiretroviral market
globally is over $13 billion and a good chunk of that is domestic.
Alternatively, the US could (1) issue easy-to-use government use licenses
for public, non-commercial use under existing legislation and presumably
could do so to distribute to state governments for use in ADAP programs;
(2) exercise march-in rights that it has to certain (but not all) ARVs and
do the same; or (3) issue compulsory licenses under new special federal
legislation for this purpose (chance of passage zero - Big Pharma will
lobby non-stop to prevent such an occurrence in my opinion if for no other
reason because of the precedent it sets).  Unless, Presidents and
ex-Presidents have a special in with multinational drug companies
sufficient to convert them into short-term charities that are not
concerned by precedent, I don't know where this idea can go.

President Clinton seemed oddly uninformed about the existence of patent
and data monopolies reinforced by the international intellectual property
regime that he helped to engineer through TRIPS and expand through FTAs.

There are lots of good ideas about getting cheaper medicines for poor
patients (and even rich patients) in high and low income countries, but
the IP status of medicines is a structural barrier that must first be

Professor Brook K. Baker

Health GAP (Global Access Project)
Northeastern U. School of Law
Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy
400 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115 USA
Honorary Research Fellow, University of KwaZulu Natal, Durban, S. Africa
(w) 617-373-3217
(cell) 617-259-0760
(fax) 617-373-5056
b.baker at neu.edu

On 12/5/11 8:31 AM, "Jared Augenstein" <jared.augenstein at gmail.com> wrote:

>Does anyone know what precisely this would require?
>On Dec 4, 2011, at 12:37 PM, Matthew Kavanagh wrote:
>> Interesting comments from Bill Clinton at the World AIDS Day event
>>suggesting importation of generic drugs through temporary licensing
>>until ACA kicks in 2014...
>> --
>> Matthew Kavanagh
>> Health GAP (Global Access Project)
>> tel +1 202 355-6343 // mob +1 202 486-2488
>> matthew at healthgap.org
>>  www.healthgap.org
>> Begin forwarded message:
>>> From: Sharonann Lynch <Sharonann.Lynch at newyork.msf.org>
>>> Subject: Re: [FED_AIDS_POL] Bill Clinton's remarks on World AIDS Day?
>>> Date: December 4, 2011 11:39:25 AM EST
>>> To: Julie Davids <jdavids at aidschicago.org>
>>> Cc: Federal Partnership <fed_aids_pol at critpath.org>
>>> No transcript as far as I know.
>>> Specifically, former Pres Bill Clinton called for a 2 year period to
>>>use generic ARVs in the US in order to address the waiting lists and
>>>prevent an increase in AIDS related deaths in the US.
>>> Watch the vid on you tube.
>>> It's 1:50 in. And wait around listen to Representative Barbara Lee's
>>>interest. She's always been supportive of a "from Botswana to the
>>>Bronx" message linking domestic and global HIV.
>>> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABrI1GNs3u8
>>> --
>>> Sharonann Lynch
>>> HIV/AIDS Policy Advisor
>>> Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)
>>> US mobile: +1 646 824 3066
>>> Email: sharonann.lynch at newyork.msf.org
>>> -----fed_aids_pol-bounces at lists.critpath.org wrote: -----
>>> To: Federal Partnership <fed_aids_pol at critpath.org>
>>> From: Julie Davids <jdavids at aidschicago.org>
>>> Sent by: fed_aids_pol-bounces at lists.critpath.org
>>> Date: 12/04/2011 09:59AM
>>> Subject: [FED_AIDS_POL] Bill Clinton's remarks on World AIDS Day?
>>> Has anyone seen a transcript of Clinton's remarks at the December 1
>>>event where he spoke with Obama and Bush?
>>> I heard that at one point he called for access to generic AIDS drugs
>>>in the United States, but have not had a chance to watch the video.
>>> Julie
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> FED_AIDS_POL mailing list
>>> FED_AIDS_POL at lists.critpath.org
>>> https://lists.critpath.org/mailman/listinfo/fed_aids_pol
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> FED_AIDS_POL mailing list
>>> FED_AIDS_POL at lists.critpath.org
>>> https://lists.critpath.org/mailman/listinfo/fed_aids_pol
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