sábado, 16 de junio de 2007

Lets share some more information

I have got the impression that more information should be shared concerning the conflict arose between Novartis and the Indian government.

Under the terms of the World Trade Organisation's Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement, all developing countries are obliged to introduce strict patent protection along the lines of that found in the West. The aim of this, patent protection, should surely be weighed in the balance alongside other rights, such as access to health care. For this reason, a certain amount of leeway is built into TRIPS. The World Health Organisation (WHO) says that this room for manoeuvre must be included in national legislation. One of the problems is that pharmaceutical corporations are thwarting such initiatives.

It is in this context that Novartis appealed India patent office's decision. Novartis also challenges Section 3(d) of the Indian Patents Acts in a direct challenge to India's right to interpret the TRIPS agreement to protect public health. If Novartis is successful, it could jeopardise India's generic export industry.

By producing cheaper generic versions of drugs that were patented in other countries, India became, years a go, the world's leading supplier of inexpensive generic medicines to developing countries, with approximately 67 per cent of its exports going to developing countries, a key source of affordable essential medicines. Therefore, at present, millions of people in developing countries rely on India for affordable medicines.

Economic analysts said that Novartis could be considered “the hottest” drug giant in 2007.

I know all these is just information, and we all could consider that interests behind all this can fog the truth.

This is the moment when I bring up the opinion of some “experts” and representative leaders.

The WHO has considered that India has applied the TRIPS agreement properly.

Dr. Unni Karunakara, Medical Director of MSF's Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines, at a press briefing in New Delhi said "Novartis is trying to shut down the pharmacy of the developing world,".

Jeremy Hobbs, Executive Director of Oxfam International, said: “If Novartis wins this case, countless medicines previously available cheaply to poor people will be patented and priced out of reach. The medicine cabinet will be firmly locked, and only companies like Novartis will hold the keys."

More than 350,000 people have voiced their concern about Novartis's actions, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, U.S. Congressman Henry Waxman, several EU Parliamentarians, incoming Global Fund Director Michel Kazatchkine, former Swiss president and chair of the 2004-06 WHO Commission on Intellectual Property Innovation and Public Health (CIPIH) Ruth Dreifuss, German Development Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, former UN Special Envoy on AIDS in Africa Stephen Lewis and author John le Carré. Patients groups and NGOs across the world have also raised their voices.

I hope at least I could have helped clearing some of this fog.

In my opinion, Novartis attitude is reprobable, and that should make us think about the dimensions of the problem arose.

Yours faithfully,


MSF´s "drop the case" petition