Monday 16 March 2009

Darren Olivier

IP News clips

The World Health Organisation has condemned the Dutch Government’s “farcical” detention of HIV medication destined for Sub-Saharan Africa, which it says flouts world trade rules – and will endanger patients’ health. (Pharma Times)

"New law paves way for war against fakes" -more commentary on Kenya's Anti-Counterfeit Legislation.

The World Intellectual Property Organization said it received a record number of complaints on cybersquatting -- or abusive registration of trademarks on the Internet (AFP).

For the full articles click on the links above.

And finally....Afro-IP is offering AJ Da Silva a free course in Managing Expectations after his umpteenth postponement of his own deadline for handing down the judgment in Servier v Cipla Medpro. Apparently, it will be now ready on Friday this week....

Darren Olivier

Darren Olivier

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17 March 2009 at 12:59 delete

What is "farcical" is the piece of Pharma Times.

The World Health Organization -- rather than joining what is effectively a campaign against border measures (if not IP altogether) -- has expressed a view that appropriately balances the stakes, particularly for Africa. The view is encapsulated in as little as seven words: "equitable access to safe and affordable medicines" (see below).

It is time that some organizations accept that lives are saved not only by timely shipment of generics to countries in need, but also and much more so by (timely) procurement of safe and effective medicines.

Afro-IP blog entry “Counterfeit and fake drugs threaten to promote malaria again” of 19 May 2008 should serve as a wake-up call for those organizations, including the one whose acronym starts with UN, and a reminder of the fact that the coin has two sides.

The border controls in transit countries such as the Netherlands are an important contribution to public health in Africa. The cure to possible shipment delays is proper planning, not barking.

Countries like Kenya which have introduced or are in the process of introducing Anti-counterfeit Acts with teeth, including in respect of fake medicines, have got it right. Actually, one should wonder what would be the reaction of, say, UNITAID, if a medicines consignment were provisionally detained by the Kenyan rather than the Dutch authorities.

Here is the full text of WHO's press release:

(Quote) WHO considers equitable access to safe and affordable medicines as vital to the attainment of the highest possible standard of health by all. WHO Member States reaffirmed their commitment to these principles in May 2008, with the adoption of a resolution on the "Global strategy and plan of action on public health, innovation and intellectual property" (WHA61.21). Among other important objectives, the resolution expressed Member States' commitment to improving the delivery of and access to all health products and medical devices by effectively overcoming barriers to access.

In this context, the recent events related to the handling of medicines in transit and the potential consequences for the supply of medicines in developing countries are of major concern to the organization. This issue has been raised in the meeting of the WHO Executive Board in January 2009 and was a subject of discussion in the recent WTO TRIPS Council.

In relation to this issue, WHO is continuing to follow developments and consulting with Member States and relevant international intergovernmental organizations. WHO also understands that there is ongoing dialogue among the parties concerned to resolve the matter. Given the public health impact of this issue, WHO remains ready to provide, upon request, technical and policy support to Member States.