[Ip-health] Washington Post co-sponsors NCD event with Eli Lilly

Jamie Love james.love at keionline.org
Fri Sep 16 13:13:52 PDT 2011

This report from Drug Wonks about a Washington Post/Eli Lilly joint event
contains a personal attack. Jamie


On Wednesday I attended the Washington Post’s event on non-communicable
diseases (NCDs), “Sharing the Responsibility.” The event was co-sponsored by
Eli Lilly & Co.

(Video clips of this event can be found at www.washingtonpostlive.com)

The title of the conference was crucial as world-class speaker after speaker
spoke to the need for cooperation between (as Ann Keeling, the CEO of the
International Diabetes Federation and Chair of the NCD Alliance put it) “the
three P’s – public, private, and people.”

For a change, the discussion of NCDs wasn’t framed as a battle between “good
guys” (generally portrayed in the mainstream media as “civil society”) and
“bad guys” (private industry).  Rather than being about placing the blame,
it was about developing solutions.  This position was stated early and
eloquently by the event’s opening speaker, Dr. Julio Frank (Dean of the
Faculty, Harvard School of Public Health and the key founding father of the
Mexican healthcare system).  Dr. Frank warned that we must avoid and beware
of “reductionist solutions.”

When asked about the role of intellectual property rights and their role in
addressing the NCD issue, Dr. Frank said that protecting IPRs is crucial to
developing new and innovative global healthcare solutions.  While he was
answering this question, Ms. Keeling had no comment on the question of IPRs
but did comment that, “there are no magic bullets.”

"This concept of “shared responsibility” issues many challenges – not the
least of which goes out to the “Uncivil Society” movement led by (among
others) Jamie Love. Uncivil Society demonizes any role for industry --
except maybe writing checks (which brings to mind Abba Eban’s famous quote
about the give-and-take between Israel and the PLO –“We give and they

"As H.L. Mencken famously quipped, “For every complex problem there is an
answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.”

"Uncivil Society was called out at this event.  “Shared responsibility,”
means they must cease repeating and repeating and repeating their incessant
falsehood that the majority of the Developing World’s healthcare problems
could be solved if only we would do away with patents and intellectual
property protection.

"The petty agenda of Uncivil Society must not be allowed to hijack the
important global mission of combating NCDs.


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