[Ip-health] Sanders Sends Letter to USTR on Affordable Drugs in Developing Countries

Elizabeth Rajasingh elizabeth.rajasingh at keionline.org
Mon Sep 28 11:55:23 PDT 2015


Monday, September 28, 2015

WASHINGTON, Sept. 28 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today asked the chief
trade representative for the United States to ensure people in the poorest
countries around the world have access to low-cost medicines.

“Making sure people in poor countries have access to life-saving medicine
is our moral responsibility,” Sen. Sanders wrote. “The European Commission
and the Holy See both support a permanent exception for drug patents for
these poor countries. The United States government should support this as
well. Lives are at stake.”

The World Trade Organization will decide next month whether the world’s
poorest countries can continue to access needed medications at more
affordable prices. Since 2002, a waiver from the WTO has given millions of
people around the world access to critical medical treatments. Flexible
enforcement of intellectual property rules allows poorer countries to
establish their own pharmaceutical industries and treat millions of
patients with HIV and other diseases.

Sanders is requesting that a new, permanent waiver be granted for poor
countries qualified as Least-Developed Countries. The classification is
based on a number of factors, including levels of poverty, literacy, infant
mortality and economic vulnerability. Over 400 million people live below
the poverty line in states classified as Least-Developed Countries. The
current waiver expires on January 1, 2016.

Click here to read the letter. (
Elizabeth Rajasingh
Perls Research and Policy Fellow, Knowledge Ecology International
1621 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20009
elizabeth.rajasingh at keionline.org | 1-202-332-2670

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