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Re: [ox-en] Report: Public health, innovation and intellectual property rights

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I created

It is part of a new P2P wiki thematic area on policy making, at

As usual, I'll add the proviso that any additional material and suggestions to enhance this resource are more than welcome,


Stefan Merten <smerten> wrote: -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----


Earlier this year the "Commission on Intellectual Property Rights,
Innovation and Public Health (CIPIH_)" founded by the WHO created a
report. From the FAQ_:

  6. What does the report say?

  Intellectual property rights are a general incentive provided by
  governments to promote innovation in all fields. In respect of
  public health, they are embedded in a set of other incentives which
  influence the pattern of innovation. They need to be looked at as
  part of a bigger picture.

  In particular, because the market demand for diagnostics, vaccines
  and medicines needed to address health problems mainly affecting
  developing countries is small and uncertain, the incentive effect of
  intellectual property rights may be limited or non-existent.

  Because intellectual property rights may not be an effective
  incentive in this area, there is a need for other incentives and
  financial mechanisms to be put in place and for collaborative
  efforts between different stakeholders.

  Without access to the products of innovation, there can be no public
  health benefits. Defining the conditions by which products can be
  accessed is therefore an important aspect of the report.

  There has been significant progress in recent years, in particular
  initiatives taken by different stakeholders to promote innovation in
  health-care products e.g. increased funding by foundations and the
  formation of public-private partnerships for product development.

  This momentum for change is welcome but is insufficient.

  More needs to be done. There are unsettled and debated issues in
  intellectual property for example the effectiveness of the recent
  amendment to TRIPS in increasing access to medicines in countries
  without manufacturing capacity, the impact of data exclusivity laws
  and the impact of intellectual property provisions in bilateral
  trade agreements.

  And there is a need to ensure enhanced financing on a sustainable
  basis of innovation and access and promote synergy between the
  different partners.

  Ultimately it is a responsibility that governments must accept if
  these objectives are to be achieved.

  It is appropriate that WHO should now take the lead in promoting a
  more sustainable and better-funded effort and addressing unresolved

  WHO should accordingly develop a Global Plan of Action to secure
  enhanced and sustainable funding for developing and making
  accessible products to address diseases that disproportionately
  affect developing countries.

The report_ contains policy suggestions. There are a few which are
particularly interesting in our context (page numbers refer to the
English version):

  2.12 Public research institutions and universities in developed
       countries should seriously consider initiatives designed to
       ensure that access to R&D outputs relevant to the health
       concerns of developing countries and to products derived
       therefrom, are facilitated through appropriate licensing
       policies and practices. (p. 198)

  3.7  Practical initiatives that would motivate more scientists to
       contribute to this field through "open source" methods should
       be supported. (p. 200)

  4.13 The Doha Declaration clarifies the right of governments to use
       compulsory licensing as a means of resolving tensions that may
       arise between public health and intellectual property, and to
       determine the grounds for using it. Developing countries should
       provide in their legislation for the use of compulsory
       licensing provisions, consistent with the TRIPS agreement, as
       one means to facilitate access to cheaper medicines through
       import or local production. (p. 202)

  4.14 Developed countries, and other countries, with manufacturing
       and export capacity should take the necessary legislative steps
       to allow compulsory licensing for export consistent with the
       TRIPS agreement. (p. 202)

Of course suggestion 3.7 is the most interesting one. It is an active
furthering of OpenAccess by an institution reporting to the WHO :-) .

.. _CIPIH:

.. _FAQ:

.. _report:

      Mit Freien Grüßen

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