[Ip-health] Bloomberg on patent talks in NCD discussions

Jamie Love james.love at keionline.org
Fri Sep 16 10:15:03 PDT 2011


I don't know how to interpret Fred Abbott's comments at the end of this
story.  What he said is exactly true, but as presented, it could have been
said by USTR or Pfizer.

More generally however, the US and EU negotiators quoted as saying how
important it is to keep Doha out.

"The U.S. and EU argued for the references to be deleted because it would
establish a new interpretation of a 2001 World Trade Organization
declaration on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights."

So, if they believe it is really important to keep references to Doha out of
the UN resolution, why are developing countries caving in?   Jamie

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-09-16/nestle-glaxo-lobby-un-over-biggest-epidemic-battle-since-aids.html

Jason Gale and Duane Stanford (Bloomberg), "Nestle, Glaxo Lobby UN Over
Biggest ‘Epidemic’ Battle Since AIDS," published in Businessweek.com,
September 16, 2011

Forced Licenses

One of the chief issues in the talks is a proposal backed by G77 countries
about allowing drugs still under patent to be made by other suppliers to
reduce costs for treatment of epidemics. The U.S. and EU argued for the
references to be deleted because it would establish a new interpretation of
a 2001 World Trade Organization declaration on Trade-Related Aspects of
Intellectual Property Rights.

The EU and U.S. pushed to remove references to “epidemic” to avoid making an
implicit link between the declaration and non-communicable diseases.
Instead, the revised draft document describes the diseases as “a challenge
of epidemic proportions.”

Asked what concern the U.S. has with the word “epidemic,” Andy Laine, a
spokesman for the State Department in Washington, said he couldn’t “go into
specifics” about ongoing talks.

U.S. Engagement

“The United States remains closely engaged in the negotiations and we look
forward to concluding a political declaration that reflects the strong
commitment of the international community to pursue the range of actions
that will reduce the impact of non-communicable diseases in countries around
the world,” Laine said in an e-mail.

The U.S. and EU are trying to put pressure on other governments not to issue
compulsory drug licenses, said Frederick M. Abbott, a professor of
international law at Florida State University College of Law in Tallahassee.

U.S. and EU drugmakers face slower revenue growth in their home markets as
patents expire, allowing competitors to make cheaper versions of their
best-selling medicines. They’re looking to emerging markets to expand sales,
Abbott said.

“Any compromise on the issue of patents would from their standpoint begin an
erosion of their earnings potential,” said Abbott, who advised South Africa
when it was sued by 39 drugmakers for making cheaper AIDS medicines
available for its people. Compulsory licenses pose a “significant threat to
their prospects for long-term profitability on a significant scale,” he
said.

--With assistance from Simeon Bennett in Geneva, Clementine Fletcher in
London, Allison Connolly in Frankfurt and Nicole Gaouette in Washington.
Editors: Adam Majendie, Michael Tighe, Bret Okeson.

-- 
James Love.  Knowledge Ecology International
http://www.keionline.org, +1.202.332.2670, US Mobile: +1.202.361.3040,
Geneva Mobile: +41.76.413.6584, efax: +1.888.245.3140.
twitter.com/jamie_love



-- 
James Love.  Knowledge Ecology International
http://www.keionline.org, +1.202.332.2670, US Mobile: +1.202.361.3040,
Geneva Mobile: +41.76.413.6584, efax: +1.888.245.3140.
twitter.com/jamie_love



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