[Ip-health] WIPO SCP16: Joint proposal of the African Group and the Development Agenda Group on a work program on Patents and Health

Riaz K Tayob riaz.tayob at gmail.com
Fri May 20 23:11:22 PDT 2011

Contextualised this way, no disagreement!

On 2011/05/20 11:58 AM, Baker, Brook wrote:
> There's no doubt that the gross abuse of power by rich countries acting on behalf of their monopoly-based pharmaceutical companies is a major impediment to proactive IP/health/trade reform in African countries.  Global health movements have to intensify our collective campaigns to prevent the IP-ratchet, such as that represented in the EU-India EPA, the TPP, and ACTA.
> That said, African countries have more policy space to act than they are using.  The 2001 President Clinton Executive Order prohibits the USTR from taking action against sub-Saharan Africa countries attempting to make use of TRIPS-compliant flexibilities in order to increase access to medicines.  Although the US abused its Special 301 powers and trade preferences against South Africa in an aborted effort to derail the 1998 Amended Medicines and Related Substances Act, the US has not used such powers since against sub-Saharan African countries.  Although there continues to be back-door pressure both the US and EU, especially in the form of the new enforcement agenda and anti-counterfeiting legislation, several African countries have issued CLs (usually but not always to satisfy Global Fund and PEPFAR requirements) without retaliation.  Thus, far sub-Saharan African countries have succeeded in keeping TRIPS-plus IP proposals off the table in FTA and EPA negotiations.
> As I see it, African country governments remain complicit in keeping their hands tied with TRIPS-plus measures.  Pro-MNC forces in their own countries, corrupt alliances with Pharma, and false hopes for trade and investment all help explain, but do not excuse, this complicity.  It is ten-years post Doha.  In my view there should be major coordinated campaigns on the ten-year anniversary to demand that African governments roll-up their sleeves, shelve their fears, and pass legislation that will ensure maximum access to affordable, life-saving medicines.  There is available expertise within many African countries and international expertise eager to assist.
> Brook
> Professor Brook K. Baker
> Health GAP (Global Access Project)&

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