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International Organization Leaders Discuss Medical Innovation At Symposium

“The leaders of three top international organizations in Geneva last week discussed synergies in public health and called for increased collaboration and creativity to [improve] medical innovation,” Intellectual Property Watch reports. “The directors general of the WHO, World Trade Organization and World Intellectual Property Organization addressed the [July 5] opening…

Honduras, Ukraine Challenge Australian Laws On Tobacco Marketing At WTO

“Ukraine and Honduras are reviving a dispute at the World Trade Organization (WTO) challenging Australian laws that impose uniform drab green packaging and large graphic health warnings for cigarettes, diplomats said on Friday,” Reuters reports. “Tobacco firms say the Australian rules, which outlaw logos, infringe their trademarks,” the news agency…

TPP Should Address U.S. Business Concerns But Address Health Risks Of Tobacco

“Tobacco sickens and, eventually, can kill if consumed as intended. Every country, the United States included, should be taking every effective step to prevent smoking,” a Washington Post editorial states. The U.S. “has wisely pursued pacts to expand free trade with partners around the world,” but “[w]hat to do ……

U.N. Report Gives Mixed Review Of MDG 8 On Partnerships, Trade

“The international community must live up to the commitments it made in support of achieving universally accepted anti-poverty targets, [U.N.] Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [on Thursday] said launching a new report [.pdf] which finds that despite significant successes, the global economic slowdown continues to hinder progress on the Millennium Development Goals…

TPP Will Not Hinder Access To Essential Medicines, U.S. Commerce Secretary Says

“A wide-ranging Asia-Pacific free trade agreement will not hinder access to affordable medication, the U.S. commerce secretary said on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit that concluded on October 8 in Bali, Indonesia,” IRIN reports. “But activists remain concerned after the closed-door trade talks concluded among” the…

Scientific American Examines Impact Of Government Shutdown On Health, Science Activities

Following approval of “a final deal to keep the [U.S.] government running until January 15, researchers across the nation say their work — some of it already compromised by the budget sequestration — will suffer lasting damage as a result of the 16-day shutdown,” Scientific American reports. “Health surveillance may…

Top South Africa Aims To Close Drug Patent Loophole That Allows For ‘Ever-Greening’

“South Africa plans to overhaul its intellectual property laws to improve access to cheaper medicines by making it harder for pharmaceutical firms to register and roll-over patents for drugs, a senior official said on Monday,” Reuters reports. The efforts to close “a loophole known as ‘ever-greening,’ whereby drug companies slightly…

Obama Administration Backs Away From Anti-Tobacco Efforts Under TPP Proposal, The Hill Reports

“The Obama administration is backing away from plans to protect U.S. tobacco-control measures from legal challenges under a pending Pacific trade deal, earning the wrath of public health groups,” The Hill’s “Global Affairs” blog reports. “The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) last year suggested creating a ‘safe harbor’…

U.S. Trade Officials Should Side With Public Health In Trade Negotiations

“Give thanks to Malaysia for heading off, at least temporarily, an American effort to weaken the ability of countries to impose stiff rules on the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products within their own borders,” a New York Times editorial states, noting, “The Malaysian proposal to preserve that ability…