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Intellectual Property and Trade

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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…

Five Japanese Drug Makers Form PPP To Accelerate Development Of Drugs, Vaccines For Infectious Diseases

“Five Japanese pharmaceutical giants are teaming up with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Japan’s government to develop new medicines, vaccines, and diagnostics for infectious diseases in developing countries,” GENNews reports (4/8). “The Global Health Innovative Technology (GHIT) fund will see Takeda, Astellas, Daiichi-Sankyo, Eisai and Shionogi partner with [the] non-profit…

Reuters Examines Implications Of India’s Novartis Patent Ruling For Big Pharma

Reuters examines the implications of India’s Supreme Court ruling to overturn a patent on Novartis’s cancer treatment Glivec for the pharmaceutical industry in India and across the developing world. “Stung by a landmark patent defeat, Western drug makers will be wary about launching new products in India, but they cannot…

Media Outlets Examine Reaction To India’s Supreme Court Ruling On Novartis Patent Case

“In a decisive victory for India’s pharmaceutical industry, India’s Supreme Court rejected Novartis’ patent application for the cancer drug Glivec on Monday, ending a seven-year battle by the Swiss drug maker to get a patent in India on its powerful leukemia drug,” Time reports (Mahr, 4/1). “The decision means generic…

India’s Supreme Court Rules Against Novartis AG In ‘Landmark’ Patent Case

“India’s Supreme Court on Monday rejected drug maker Novartis AG’s attempt to patent an updated version of a cancer drug in a landmark decision that health activists say ensures poor patients around the world will get continued access to cheap versions of lifesaving medicines,” the Associated Press reports. “Novartis had…

Indonesia To Issue Compulsory Licenses For HIV, Hepatitis B Drugs Still Under Patent

“The Indonesian government hopes to implement one of the largest ever examples of ‘compulsory licensing,’ which will enable the generic manufacture of drugs still under patent,” IRIN reports. “Under the World Trade Organization’s Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), countries can override patents for public health purposes by…

Trade Negotiations Raise Concerns Among NGOs About Implications For Thailand’s Public Health Policies

“The negotiations launched this week for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Thailand and the European Union have raised concerns among both Thai and European non-governmental organizations [NGOs], who fear that E.U. demands could have a negative impact on Thailand’s progressive public health policies,” Inter Press Service reports. “Launched during Thai Prime…

GlaxoSmithKline’s HIV/AIDS Business Joins Medicines Patent Pool

“GlaxoSmithKline’s HIV/AIDS drugs business is to share intellectual property rights on children’s medicine in a patent pool designed to make treatments more widely available in poor countries,” Reuters reports. “ViiV Healthcare, majority-owned by GSK, is the second research-based pharmaceutical business to sign up to the new Medicines Patent Pool, following a lead set in…

UNAIDS, UNDP Release Issue Brief On TRIPS Transition Period Extensions For LDCs

“The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today launched a new issue brief” (.pdf), titled “TRIPS transition period extensions for least-developed countries [LDCs],” a UNAIDS press release reports. “The issue brief outlines that failure to extend the transition period for least-developed countries to become fully…