Much as the WHO's IGWG draft strategy on public health, innovation and intellectual property remains unfinished with the close of the 61st World Health Assembly, so does the global discussion on this important topic.
Patients and Patents's blog
At the World Health Organization meetings, a myriad of special interest groups are aggressively lobbying member states to loosen the definition of counterfeit medicines and to weaken intellectual property protection. Three key strategies are at the heart of the Anti-IP activists tactics o benefit generic and “grey –market” suppliers of drugs.
The WHO's Intergovernmental Working Group on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property will present their incomplete draft strategy at this week's 61st World Health Assembly.
Unfortunately, unless you're a lawyer or government policy analyst, it is difficult to understand what the real reccomendations are. For everyone else, here is an easy to understand overview of the WHO IGWG draft plan.
On May 15th (the eve of the 61st World Health Assembly), patient representatives from around the world gathered in Geneva to voice their concerns and provide recommendations on the draft plan of action as proposed by the WHO’s Intergovernmental Working Group on Innovation and Public Health (IGWG).
The following audio recordings from the patient meeting detail the key concerns and recommendations:
The World Health Organization’s Intergovernmental Working Group on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property (IGWG) met for the continuation of its second session in Geneva at the end of April. While they didn’t achieve consensus on all elements of their draft plan, there were many areas of agreement.
Some of the points of consensus include:
Without any meaningful input from patients, intense efforts are underway at the WHO to weaken – or dismantle – the system of intellectual property (IP) rights that has produced nearly every life-saving medicine that is available today. On behalf of a variety of both public and private sector special interests, anti-IP NGOs are using the Intergovernmental Working Group on Intellectual Property and Public Health (IGWG) as a vehicle to weaken the rules for drug innovation and development by
According to a recent study funded by Africa Fighting Malaria, many Africans are getting substandard or counterfeit malaria drugs. This is a serious problem as the WHO estimates that malaria kills 1.3 million people each year – mostly children under age 5.
The response from Durhane Wong-Rieger of the Consumer Advocare Network to Robert Weissman's article 'Big Pharma Digs In' really hits home. If patients aren't the key stakeholder in global health issues, then who is?
Comment by Durhane Wong Rieger:
Patients are the only stakeholders with a "life and death" stake in the WHO"s negotiations to meet needs of patients in poor countries. So why have patients been excluded from discussions?