[Ip-health] CALL FOR SIGN ON: CSO/expert statement on ATM during Global IP Congress

Lotti Rutter lotti.rutter at mail.tac.org.za
Thu Dec 5 02:37:03 PST 2013

**Apologies for cross-posting**

Dear all,

Next week the *3rd annual Global Congress on IP and Public Interest* will
take place in Cape Town from 11th - 14th December. Below is an open
statement which will be released calling on world leaders to ensure access
to affordable medicines across the developing world, and the warding off of
pressure from the US and EU.

The statement welcomes signatures from academics, experts, civil society
and advocacy organisations working on intellectual property and global
health issues, and the promotion of access to medicines. This statement,
with listed endorsements, will be released to the press on Thursday 12th
December as the meeting takes place. *To endorse the statement, please fill
out the following form http://bit.ly/1cXGuZu <http://bit.ly/1cXGuZu> by
Tuesday 10th December. *

*Lotti Rutter*
Senior Researcher
Treatment Action Campaign


*Solidarity essential to warding off US and EU pressure*

*Academics, experts, civil society and advocacy organisations stand in
solidarity to protect access to quality, safe and affordable medicines
across the developing world:*

This is a joint statement from academics, experts, civil society and
advocacy organisations working on intellectual property issues to improve
access to affordable medicines and advance global health.

As the 3rd annual *Global Congress on Intellectual Property and the Public
Interest* convenes in Cape Town from 11th – 13th December, the ability of
hundreds of millions of people in the developing world to access essential
medicines is being threatened by restrictive trade agreements and pressure
from the United States and European Union.

We call on developing country governments to show solidarity in warding off
this unjust, corporate-driven push to maximise profits at the expense of
the health of our people. Several critical issues must be remedied to
redress the imbalance in the intellectual property system that currently,
and increasingly, favours patent-holder rights above the rights of people
to access healthcare. These barriers undermine global health efforts and
often ensure that medicines remain unaffordable, unavailable, or unsuitable
in the developing world.

We the undersigned, urge all developing countries to fully utilise all
legal safeguards provided for in the agreement on Trade Related Aspects of
Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) to promote equitable access to
medicines and the realisation of the right to health. In addition
developing countries must resist all endeavors to hinder and limit
pro-public health measures within global, regional, and bilateral trade
negotiations. We urge leaders of the developed world (particularly those in
the United States and Western Europe) to immediately end their global
attack on affordable medicines through their systematic efforts to
negotiate harmful trade and investment agreements. The developed world must
respect the rights of individual countries across the developing world to
utilise pro-public health measures to achieve the right to health.

The importance of retaining policy space on intellectual property to meet
public health needs particularly with respect to pharmaceuticals has been
raised by the Global Commission on HIV and the Law - made up of former
heads of state and leading legal, human rights and HIV experts, and
supported by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) on behalf of the Joint
United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). In solidarity and alignment
with the recommendations of the Global Commission on HIV and the law, we
make the following demands:

*Our demands:*

*1. The developing world should adopt and use pro-public health IP reforms
in order to improve access to medicines systematically:* The developing
world must utilise all lawful flexibilities outlined in the TRIPS Agreement
to protect access to medicines and the realisation to the right to health.
TRIPS flexibilities should be incorporated into national law to ensure
effective and systematic utilisation. Flexibilities include, but are not
limited to: the establishment of a substantive examination system; adopting
lawful patent subject matter exemptions and setting strict patentability
and disclosure criteria; developing effective patent opposition mechanisms;
utilising compulsory licensing, public non-commercial use and
emergency/urgent use licenses; allowing parallel importation; implementing
broad research exceptions and a bolar exception for registering generic

*2. Rich countries must refrain from impeding access to affordable
medicines through the promotion and imposition of TRIPS-plus provisions in
global trade and investment agreements:* The developed world must refrain
from undermining global health efforts by pressurising low- and
middle-income countries to sign harmful bilateral or multilateral trade and
investment agreements, that include measures that go beyond the scope of
the TRIPS agreement and are deemed TRIPS-plus. Evidence shows that
TRIPS-plus provisions negatively impede on access to affordable medicines
and should thus be removed from the text of all current and future trade
negotiations, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership, all European trade
negotiations, including the EU-India and EU Thailand FTAs, and the
Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership being negotiated between
the United States and Europe currently. Specifically harmful provisions
include, but are not limited to: patent term extensions, data exclusivity
and data-registration linkage, the implementation of an investment chapter,
enhanced border and enforcement measures, the removal of patent opposition
procedures, and the weakening of patentability criteria. In addition the
negotiations must be transparent and open to scrutiny from civil society
and the public as a check to ensure they are in the people’s interest.

*3. Rich countries must not retaliate against and pressure countries that
utilise legal safeguards outlined in TRIPS to protect their country’s
ability to achieve the right to health: *The utilisation of safeguards to
protect public health must not be met with reprimands or threats by rich
countries protecting multinational corporate interests. We specifically
object to the placement of India on the US ‘Special 301 Watch List’ over
oppositions to the country’s intellectual property system, opposition
stemming from pharmaceutical industry pressure. Countries that utilise
TRIPS flexibilities and/or are undergoing legislative processes to reform
their intellectual property systems must be respected in their legal and
moral right to do so.

*4. World leaders must commit to improve innovation efforts to ensure the
development of quality, safe and effective medicines and medical tools that
meet the needs of the developing world:* Countries across the world must
work together to ensure that global innovation efforts lead to the
development of both suitable and affordable medicines and medical tools
that meet the needs of all people. The current system is driven by the
market and incentivises investment in medicines with potential high profits
- ultimately leaving those either too poor or too few to provide economic
incentive, without suitable medicines. We urge countries to engage in the
WHO R&D Convention process and prioritise alternative mechanisms for
driving effective R&D with access norms built in.


*Lotti Rutter*
Senior Researcher
Policy, Communications and Research

Treatment Action Campaign
Tel: 021 422 1700
Cell: 081 818 8493
Skype: lotti.rutter
Twitter: @FixPatentLaw


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