Experts meet on advancing access to HIV treatment
- Published on Thursday, 05 September 2013 13:54
The Commission “noted that while intellectual property protection is supposed to provide an incentive for innovation, experience has shown that the current laws are failing to promote innovation that serves the health needs of the poor,” Helen Clark said.
The Global Commission’s landmark report recommended a new intellectual property regime for pharmaceuticals that would meet urgent public health needs while safeguarding the rights of inventors. It said intellectual property protections were “impeding the production and distribution of low-cost generic drugs… current laws are failing to promote innovation that serves the medical needs of the poor.” “We need solutions to increase access to life-saving HIV treatment and this roadmap clearly outlines how a people-centred approach can help ensure no one is left behind,” said UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé. The World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, known as TRIPS, requires countries to abide by high intellectual property standards, including patent criteria that grant pharmaceutical companies long-term monopolies on medicines.
When the TRIPS treaty was signed in 1994, it included important terms that allow poor countries to produce or import cheaper generic medicines, though wealthier countries have pressured them against doing so. “The real crux of the Commission’s Recommendations was for a new intellectual property regime for pharmaceutical products – it is not enough to tweak the existing system,” former Commissioner J.V.R. Prasada Rao said. Talks this week focused on strategies, tactics, and timelines to confront the growing need for HIV treatment, including how to make intellectual property laws work better for low-and middle-income countries. Next steps are under discussion. “We should be encouraged that this meeting comes at a pivotal time when we are discussing the post-2015 development agenda, which presents us with significant opportunities,” former Commissioner Michael Kirby said.
Contact Information UNDP: Tenu Avafia, UNDP New York: firstname.lastname@example.org; +1 212 906 6372
UNAIDS: Carlos Passarelli, UNAIDS, Geneva email@example.com; +41 79 202 1845
Meeting materials: Agenda