Wednesday, January 31, 2007
The Boston Globe followed up on this story.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Company Would Effectively be Shutting Down the "Pharmacy of the Developing World"
New Delhi/Geneva, 29 January 2007 – As pharmaceutical company Novartis proceeded with its legal challenge against the Indian government in a court hearing in Chennai, India, today, nearly a quarter of a million people from over 150 countries expressed their concern about the negative impact the company's actions could have on access to medicines in developing countries. The Indian Network for People with HIV/AIDS (INP+), the People's Health Movement, the Centre for Trade and Development (Centad), together with the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), called on the company again today to immediately cease its legal action in India.
The court hearing will continue February 15.
Read MSF's entire press release at: http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/pr/2007/01-29-2007_1.cfm
Listen to the teleconference and see the transcript here:
Listen to Loon Gangte, participant in this press conference and Regional Coordinator of South Asia Collaborative Fund for HIV Treatment Preparedness (formerly from Delhi Network of Positive People), talk with Human Rights Watch: http://www.hrw.org/campaigns/aids/2006/toronto/audio2.htm
Monday, January 29, 2007
Health Minister Mongkol na Songkhla has been widely quoted today for saying,“We have to do this because we don’t have enough money to buy safe and necessary drugs for the people under the government’s universal health scheme”. Ms. Kannikar Kijtiwatchakul of Doctors Without Borders commented, “It is a brave decision”.
Read more on this recent development in:
International Herald Tribune
Wall Street Journal
Friday, January 26, 2007
Lancet‘s recent editorial, “Undermining TRIPS: protectionism at its worst”, brings to light two international campaigns that will likely be of great signficance for the future of poor countries’ access to medicines. The campaigns, led by Doctors Without Borders and host of other organizations, are working to uphold the rules of Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) agreement that allow, in certain situations, essential medicines in developing countries to be distributed at affordable prices. This agreement is currently threatened by large pharmaceutical companies that are taking steps to expand their rights to patent their medicines. Of particular urgency right now is a case pursued by Novartis, a Swiss company, against the Indian government, and a case led by Merck against the Thai Government.
These are important and complicated cases with implications for the future of free trade, public health, and human rights. Here is a list of important links—certainly not exhaustive—to provide background on the issue:
Novartis & India
"Novartis Challenges Indian safeguards"
Merck et al. & Thailand
Thai Health Ministry To Issue Compulsory License for Merck's HIV/AIDS Drug Efavirenz
MSF: Open Letter to Condaleezza Rice
Intellectual Property & Free Trade
“What are Intellectual Property Rights?”
The Doha Declaration
Declaration on TRIPS agreement and Public Health
Listen to Sangeeta Shashikant, Researcher for Third World Network in Kuala Lumpur, comment on patents and access to generic medicines.
Friday, January 12, 2007
The board overseeing the organization, Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, failed to select a new executive director last November and now hopes to name one at a meeting in Geneva early next month.
Read this article at: http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2007/01/09/global_health_organization_prepares_to_name_leader/