Patients and Patents's blog

Independent Survey Finds Broad Support for Free Trade Across All Income Groups in the United States

The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center finds 58 percent of Americans say free trade agreements with other countries have been good for America compared to 33 percent who say free trade is bad for America.

Majorities across all income categories say free trade agreements have been a positive thing for the U.S.

Compulsory Licenses Won’t Solve a Healthcare Crisis

A great article by Dr. Kristina Lybecker, Associate Professor of Economics at Colorado College, published in IP Watchdog on the battle for health in India and the TRIPS Agreement.
"The compulsory licensing provisions of the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS agreement and public health have the potential to save lives and protect public health. However, to deliver on this potential the provisions must be used responsibly. Specifically, the interpretation of ‘national emergency’ should adhere to both the text of the declaration, as well as its intent.

Intellectual Property and Economic Development

"It is time for India’s leaders to recognize the positive role that IP can play in fostering growth and improving citizens’ wellbeing," states Rod Hunter (senior director for international economics on President George W. Bush’s National Security Council, is a senior vice president at the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America) in his recent op-ed featured in Today's Zaman. "The reality is that IP protection is an economic engine that developing-country citizens should not have to forego."

The Future of Global Health Depends on Strong IPRs

An interesting article by Dr. Kristina Lybecker from IP WatchDog (Feb. 17, 2014) in regards to a recent report from the University College London (UCL) School of Pharmacy and at the London School of Economics (LSE). Dr. Lybecker highlights that "While intellectual property rights are essential to medical progress, policymakers must balance the needs of current populations against rewards for innovators as well as the needs of future populations. In this context, the authors note that preserving and sometimes strengthening intellectual property rights are essential to continued innovation."

Perhaps most importantly, she notes that "Underinvesting in innovation for the future would harm both the interests of patients and the global public."

New Trans-Pacific Partnership Caucus In US Congress

A new caucus of supporters of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement under negotiation was launched yesterday in the US Congress and is headed by four co-chairmen: Republican Reps. David Reichert of Washington and Charles Boustany of Louisiana, and Democratic Reps. Ron Kind of Wisconsin and Gregory Meeks of New York. The four members issued a press announcement with statements on why they are supporting the agreement, which they say is important for US jobs, exports and economic growth.

Evolving Indian patent trends and their implications for patients around the world

By Pravin Anand and Archana Shanker.
Intellectual Property cases in India have witnessed an exponential growth in the last 10 years with the increase in infringement actions before the High Courts and the plethora of decisions rendered by the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB), especially with respect to pharmaceutical patents. These decisions have ramifications for patients in India and around the world, and it is becoming increasingly clear that a top-down reform of the entire system is necessary. To protect the intellectual property of innovators and ensure the latest life-saving medicines are able to reach the Indian patients, India’s patent system must begin to reflect established international norms. Indeed, the rapid increase in cases where patents are revoked, denied or otherwise infringed upon sets a dangerous precedent that could effectively bar new pharmaceuticals from being approved in India, as innovators become increasingly wary that their intellectual property could simply be expropriated without proper compensation.

Not just a negotiating round, Brunei may host TPP ministerial meeting

When the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiators gather for the nineteenth and potentially final round of talks later this month in Brunei, the ministers to whom they answer may be nearby.
According to an article published in the Japan Times on Monday, the government of Brunei has put forward a proposal to bring together ministers from the 12 participating countries in order to continue the push for a 2013 conclusion.

The Importance of Economic Development and Growth

An interesting article by Dr. Kristina Lybecker published in IP WatchDog addressing the question of what truly influences a population's access to medicines.

As the TPP negotiations continue this week, the debate over intellectual property rights and access to medicines continues as well. In the quest to eliminate barriers to access it is critical to correctly identify what factors genuinely inhibit access. In the context of this TPP Agreement, strong intellectual property rights enhance trade and growth, which enhances access to medicines. If greater access is to be achieved, safeguarding the protections surrounding innovation is essential, for it encourages investment, technology transfer, and economic prosperity.

Protecting Biopharmaceutical Innovation Means Hope for New Treatments for Patients

The TPP offers an opportunity for governments to encourage patient access to medicines by ensuring that their regulatory and legal frameworks value innovation and the underlying intellectual property to develop new and improved medicines for patients.

Read the fact sheet on Innovation and the TPP.

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