[Ip-health] PhRMA is angered by Colombia’s move to cut prices for hepatitis C drugs

James Love james.love at keionline.org
Wed Jan 17 08:17:35 PST 2018

​Best part of the Ed Silverman article was the quote of the Colombian
Health Minister Alejandro Gaviria responding to the PhRMA letter.



For his part, the Colombia health minister was angered by the suggestion.

“We received the letter. They indeed ask the Colombian government to revoke
the resolution and suggest — not a very subtle message — that not doing so
could threaten the whole OECD process,” Gaviria wrote us. “However, these
kinds of threats are disquieting.

“Should Chile be ousted from OECD for doing something similar? Are
flexibilities (in the WTO agreement) not part of various international
agreements? Is PhRMA speaking on behalf of some specific countries? Is
PhRMA aware that undue pressure on governments for exercising the
flexibilities go against the Doha declaration?” The 2001 WTO agreement was
reached in Doha, Qatar.

On Wed, Jan 17, 2018 at 4:01 PM, Kim Treanor <kim.treanor at keionline.org>
> PhRMA is angered by Colombia’s move to cut prices for hepatitis C drugs
> Ed Silverman in Stat News on 16 January 2018
> In the latest battle between drug makers and the Colombian government, an
> industry trade group has asked the Colombian health minister to scrap a
> move that is designed to unilaterally lower the prices of hepatitis C
> or, eventually, issue compulsory licenses.
> The move comes after Colombian Health Minister Alejandro Gaviria last
> issued a resolution to determine whether a so-called declaration of public
> interest should be pursued, a step needed to lower prices. In a letter
> to the minister on Monday, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers
> America argued the resolution is “legally and procedurally deficient,” and
> should be revoked.
> [snip]
> “Rather than demonstrating any lack of access to Hepatitis C medicines in
> Colombia, the (move) appears to be driven solely by a desire to use the
> process to secure drastic and arbitrary price reductions for an entire
> class of medicines,” the letter stated.
> [snip]
> The trade group intimates that by pursuing its declaration, the Colombian
> government could undermine an existing trade pact with the U.S. and,
> moreover, its efforts to join the Organization for Economic Cooperation
> Development, an intergovernmental group of three dozen countries that was
> created to stimulate economic progress and world trade.
> [snip]
> That tussle became a flashpoint in the debate over licensing, however,
> staffers from both the U.S. Senate Finance Committee and the U.S. trade
> representative met with Colombian embassy officials in Washington, D.C.,
> and warned that support would be withdrawn for a free trade agreement and
> $450 million in backing for a peace initiative between the Colombian
> government and Marxist rebels.
> The pressure sparked condemnation from some Democratic lawmakers that
> accused the U.S. trade rep of exerting undue pressure. Ultimately, the
> Colombian health minister issued a declaration of public interest anyway
> and unilaterally cut the price for Gleevec, which Novartis is appealing.
> [snip]
> “The fact that more than one in a hundred persons is infected is actually
> huge burden of the disease, perhaps not compared to some countries with
> super high rates of infection, but certainly compared to any other serious
> disease, and unless Colombia gets the drugs very cheap, it will not treat
> everyone that they could diagnose,” said Jamie Love of Knowledge Ecology
> International, an advocacy group.
> [snip]
> --
> Kim Treanor
> Knowledge Ecology International
> kim.treanor at keionline.org
> tel.: +1.202.332.2670 <(202)%20332-2670>
> _______________________________________________
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> Ip-health at lists.keionline.org
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James Love.  Knowledge Ecology International
KEI DC tel: +1.202.332.2670, US Mobile: +1.202.361.3040, Geneva Mobile:
+41.76.413.6584, twitter.com/jamie_love

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