Corporate Power Unbound: Investor-State Arbitration of IP Monopolies on Medicines – Eli Lilly and the TPP

Author Brook K. Baker

Brief Historical Background and Framework of International Investment
Agreements and Investor-State Dispute Resolution 

Free trade agreements (FTAs) and bilateral investment treaties (BITs) typically contain investment clauses designed to attract direct foreign investment and protect the interests of foreign investors. Continue reading

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Facebook Twitter Whatsapp Intellectual Property for the Twenty-First-Century Economy

Source: Project Syndicate

Developing countries are increasingly pushing back against the intellectual property regime foisted on them by the advanced economies over the last 30 years. They are right to do so, because what matters is not only the production of knowledge, but also that it is used in ways that put the health and wellbeing of people ahead of corporate profits.

NEW YORK – When the South African government attempted to amend its laws in 1997 to avail itself of affordable generic medicines for the treatment of HIV/AIDS, the full legal might of the global pharmaceutical industry bore down on the country, delaying implementation and exacting a human cost. South Africa eventually won its case, but the government learned its lesson: it did not try again to put its citizens’ health and wellbeing into its own hands by challenging the conventional global intellectual property (IP) regime. Continue reading

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How the University of California Is Fighting Proxy Patent Battle for Expensive Cancer Drug in India

Source: The Wire

UCLA appears to be representing the pharmaceutical companies Pfizer,
Medivation and Astellas in its battle. They aren’t telling the Delhi high
court this, but they do talk about it in other documents.

New Delhi: Xtandi is a life-prolonging cancer drug and sells at about Rs
2.7 lakh for a month’s course in India – that’s for four tablets daily. It
works for patients with stage-four prostate cancer who have exhausted their
drug options and also cannot be treated with castration. The prostate is
among the top ten sites of cancer in the Indian population and prostate
cancer is the second most common cancer among men worldwide. Continue reading

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MSF approaches Delhi High Court to challenge unmerited patent grant for pneumonia vaccine

New Delhi, 13 October 2017 – Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders India has filed a petition before the High Court of Delhi to overturn the patent granted on the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) to the US pharmaceutical corporation Pfizer.

Earlier this year, on August 13, the Indian Patent Office dashed hopes for improved access to an affordable PCV13 when it granted a patent to Pfizer for its PCV 13 product, marketed as Prevnar13, which will expire only in 2026. MSF had challenged Pfizer’s unmerited patent claims on the vaccine in India last year to enable and accelerate the availability of more affordable versions of PCV. Continue reading

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Africa’s cancer curse: Cipla shows way again

By Donald G. Mcneil Jr, International New York Times , Oct 10 2017

In a deal similar to the one that turned the tide against AIDS, Pfizer and Cipla will make chemotherapy drugs available in six poor countries at steep

Ratibu Asiligwa, 10, takes morphine to alleviate the pain from a cancer of skeletal muscle cells, at Kawempe Home Care in Kampala, Uganda. Cancer now kills about 4,50,000 Africans a year. By 2030, it will kill almost 1 million annually, the WHO predicts.  Continue reading

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Groundbreaking, web-based pathway to guide innovators as they develop new TB diagnostics and adjunct technologies

9 October 2017 – Guadalajara, Mexico – Global health organizations are proud to announce the launch of the very first, web-based pathway for tuberculosis (TB) diagnostics and adjunct technologies.

The TB Diagnostics Pathway ( is a common good resource that will be owned by everyone in the TB community and regularly updated.  The site was conceived as a tool to help innovators develop their ideas from research to roll-out, offering guidance on the critical activities to follow and right partnerships to pursue. The TB Diagnostics Pathway will help standardize research, commercialization and roll-out procedures to speed the introduction of promising, new TB diagnostics and adjunct technologies. Continue reading

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Section 301: US investigates allegations of forced technology transfers to China

Source: EastAsia Forum

Authors: Zhiyao (Lucy) Lu and Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Peterson Institute for International Economics

On 18 August 2017, the Trump administration invoked Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 to launch an investigation into alleged Chinese violations of intellectual property rights (IPR). In response, China stated that the United States ‘disregards the rules of the WTO’ and that it will ‘take all proper measures to safeguard its legitimate rights’. Alongside investigations into steel and aluminium imports, the new Section 301 case holds the potential to escalate US–China trade tensions. Continue reading

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