WHA Agrees On Drafting Of Roadmap For Access To Medicines And Vaccines; US Blasts Compulsory Licences

Source: Intellectual Property Watch|25th May 2018

The World Health Assembly yesterday agreed on a roadmap to be designed by the World Health Organization in consultation with member states to facilitate access to medicines and vaccines, including actions and activities for the period 2019-2023. If everyone agrees access to medicines and vaccines is indispensable for universal health coverage, views are still divided when it comes to intellectual property rights. The ranks of strong proponents of IP resulting in high prices are however thinning. The United States remains unshakable, criticising compulsory licences used by countries to ensure affordable medicines are available. Continue reading

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Letter to US Secretary of Health and Human Services by US-based groups

Source: Medecins Sans Frontieres| 25th May 2018

New Delhi

On Friday, 18th May 2018  27 US-based groups sent a letter to the US Secretary of Health and Human Services calling for increased transparency in the biomedical innovation system. The letter can be read here.


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US faith-based groups call for no TRIPS-plus in NAFTA

Top leadership from multiple major faith denominations strongly reaffirmed their traditions’ recognition of the human right to health, and insisted that trade agreements including a renegotiated NAFTA should not include terms that extend medicine monopolies.

The statement, found here: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/global-issues/trade/upload/NAFTA-and-International-Public-Health-An-Interfaith-Call-for-Access-to-Medicines.pdf , is signed by the leaders of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Episcopal Church, the United Methodist Church, the United Church of Christ, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Continue reading

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It’s Time for a Public Option in the Pharmaceutical Industry

Source: In These Times | May 11, 2018

Drug companies are hated for a reason—they exist to maximize profits, not make us healthier. It’s time to put them under public control.

Drug companies are among the most widely despised businesses in America. Infamous for generating incredible profits at the expense of the sick and dying while leveraging their enormous economic power to evade regulations (to say nothing of their role in the opioid epidemic), they are often seen as a textbook profiteer. Already, many Americans report not filling prescriptions, cutting pills in half or skipping doses due to costs. In the world’s most expensive healthcare system, more than 10 percent of total healthcare costs and 21 percent of employer healthcare benefits are attributed to pharmaceuticals. Research shows that “drug spending is growing faster than any other part of the health care dollar.” Continue reading

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Trump directs USTR to take up pricing of pharmaceuticals, medical devices

Source: The Economic Times| May 13, 2018

President Donald Trump today directed his top trade negotiator to strongly take up with all countries the fixing of prices of American pharmaceuticals and medical devices.

Describing such fixing of prices by other countries as unjustified and done at the expense of America’s research and development, Trump said that the US can longer tolerate such behaviour by others.

Trump’s new policy actions on lowering drug prices, could also have an impact on Continue reading

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To Lower Drug Costs at Home, Trump Wants Higher Prices Abroad

Source: The New York Times | May 9, 2018

WASHINGTON — President Trump, poised on Friday to unveil his strategy to lower prescription drug prices, has an idea that may not be so popular abroad: Bring down costs at home by forcing higher prices in foreign countries that use their national health systems to make drugs more affordable. Continue reading

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MSF Responds to President Trump’s Speech on Drug Pricing

Source: Medecins Sans Frontieres | May 11, 2018

The international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) made the following statement today in reaction to President Donald Trump’s speech on drug pricing. Trump stated that, “When foreign governments extort unreasonably low prices from US drug makers, Americans have to pay more to subsidize the enormous cost of research and development. … It’s time to end the global freeloading once and for all.” Continue reading

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