Doctors push Italy to demand generics for pricey hep c drugs

By Giulia Paravicini, Politico| Sept 19, 2016

Italy’s biggest doctors association Fnomceo wants the government to make available generic versions of pricey hepatitis c drugs so more patients can have access to them.

“We want to make these drugs available for everyone as well as sustainable for the national health care system,” Fnomceo said in a document published after the group’s national council meeting, which took place over the weekend. Continue reading

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PhRMA slams Colombian efforts to cut price of cancer drug

By Suzanne Elvidge, BioPharma Dive| Sept 15, 2016

Dive Brief:

  • Major trade organization PhRMA sharply criticized a decision by the Colombian government to reduce the price of Novartis’ cancer drug Gleevec (imatinib) in the country, calling the move a “harmful global precedent” in a statement issued Wednesday.
  • Colombia decided to enforce a so-called declaration of public interest, which sets a path for price cuts to be imposed on Gleevec (marketed as Glivec in Colombia). Novartis and the Colombia government have been locked in a battle over pricing of the drug, which PhRMA argues is accessible to patients in the country.
  • PhRMA is concerned Colombia’s decision could provide a high-profile precedent for unilateral government action to reduce drug prices and infringe on international patent rights. This issue is of particular relevance given the release this week of a major UN report on access to medicines, which points to the Colombia controversy.

Continue reading

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Sofosbuvir patent dispute- Delhi High Court update

A writ petition was filed before the Delhi High Court by I-MAK and DNP+, challenging the grant of patent to costly Hepatitis-C drug, Sofosbuvir. The first hearing for the case was expected take place on 13th September. However, the hearing has been adjourned. Patent Controller and Union of India asked for postponement of the case as they needed more time to submit their response to the petition.  The patent was granted to Gilead for this drug in May 2016. Continue reading

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#TheNakedTruth about high medicine prices

The Naked Truth is a short video commissioned by the Access Campaign that aims to literally ‘strip’ away some of the untruths about the costs of developing new drugs. This demand for more financial transparency in drug development is one of the key asks of our ‘Lives on the Edge’ report.


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UN High-Level Panel On Access To Medicines Issues “Landmark” Report

 BY Catherine Saez, Intellectual Property Watch| Sept 14, 2016

The long-awaited report by the United Nations High Level Panel on Access to Medicines was released today, making many recommendations. The panel calls for countries to embrace the policy space available in the World Trade Organization intellectual property rules, and invest more in health. It also calls for negotiation of a binding international treaty on research and development, delinking prices from R&D costs, greater transparency in drug pricing, public health impact assessments in free trade agreements, and encouragement to better use international legal tools available to countries to ensure affordable medical products. And it lays out the path ahead, calling for several new bodies to be created to take recommendations forward.  Continue reading

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UN panel blames capitalism, property rights for lack of access to medicines in poor nations

By Tom Giovanetti, Fox News | Sept 14, 2016

On Wednesday morning, a special United Nations High Level Panel on Access to Medicines released its findings—findings that have been long-awaited by the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that drove its formation, and long-dreaded by the innovative pharmaceutical and biotech industries that once again find themselves in the crosshairs. Continue reading

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U.N. panel challenges market-based approach to drug R&D

By Ben Hirschler, Reuters | LONDON

The world cannot rely solely on free markets to deliver medicines needed by billions of people in poor countries, so governments should commit to a legally binding convention to coordinate and fund research and development.

That’s the conclusion of a major United Nations report, which is bound to stir fierce debate between supporters of the current market-based system of drug development and those favoring a greater role for the state. Continue reading

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