IP Disputes in Medicine

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Eight civil society views on Doha plus five

by James Packard Love

Eight persons who follow negotiations over the TRIPS provided these brief views on Doha plus five. My favorite is the one by Sir John Sulston. jl

John Sulston FRS, 2002 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine
The WTO negotiations over TRIPS are worthy of Joseph Heller - just one damned catch after another.
Celine Charveriat, Oxfam International
The Doha Declaration said all the right things but to date has delivered virtually nothing to poor patients. We've gone backwards in five years. The US and the pharmaceutical industry are actively challenging any developing country that has tried to assert its rights and interpret global intellectual property laws in order to protect public health. The declaration will be worthless for poor patients in developing countries until rich countries match their rhetoric with action.
Mira Shiva, People’s Health Movement (PHM)
The Doha Declaration on Trips & Public health was brought about because of public health concerns expressed by developing countries & civil society . We have in the last 5 years witnessed the unwillingness to genuinely implement the flexibilities, we have witnessed the creation of new hurdles , the NON REVEIW of TRIPS , the seduction or arm-twisting of developing countries to sign TRIPS PLUS & many other biased trade measures through regional & bilateral FTA's in the name of greater trade & economic growth . We watch with pain the increasing inequities & worsening of the health & life of millions WHICH IS NOT ACCEPTABLE .
K Balasubramaniam, Health Action International Asia-Pacific (HAI-AP)
There is an urgent need for a clear sign of political will to give precedence to public health interests over commercial interests, This is nowhere to be seen. The clock is running out.
Dalindyebo Shabalala, Centre for International Environmental Law (CIEL)
The Doha Declaration was a major step forward as a statement of principle. Whether the implementation of the declaration, both in the 2005 amendment to TRIPS, and in the slowly growing application of national laws, will reflect that broad spirit is very much in doubt. The data are not yet in. However, we do have one guide -- the old maxim, "Garbage in, garbage out." A restrictive implementation will lead to restricted health outcomes. Only an approach that focuses on the delivery of better health outcomes rather than the protection of profit margins can accomplish what the spirit of the declaration intended.
Colleen Daniels, Health Action International Europe (HAI Europe)
In 2001, after the Doha Declaration was signed, Ambassador B.G. Chidyausiku, of Zimbabwe , asked the questions: "… how do we make it effective? How do we make it deliver the medicines to the people? How do we avoid this declaration ending up as a dead letter?" Today, the answer is that the Doha Declaration was not effective in implementation, it did not deliver medicines to the people and it seems as if it is indeed a 'dead letter.' Now we can only hope that the WHO Intergovernmental Working Group on R&D can finally make the necessary changes to a system that is broken.
Sangeeta Shashikant, Third World Network (TWN)
Five years since the Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health, there is little to celebrate. The problem of access to affordable medicines continues. Although a few developing countries have used the flexibilities available since Doha, pressure from some developed countries and multinational pharmaceutical companies to not make use of these flexibilities or to adopt rules that go beyond the TRIPS Agreement is now more stronger and as a result undermining the Doha Declaration
James Love, Consumer Project on Technology (CPTech)
The 2001 negotiation was a good moment for the global trading system and for public health. The 2003 negotiations were a bad moment, giving us a cynical agreement that was designed to do as little as possible, in real life. But the 2001 agreement is still the more important -- it provide a basis and a mandate to protect access to medicine for all. For this to be achieved, we have to move to new paradigms for the management of intellectual property rights, and the support of R&D. Most important, we need to break the link between drug prices and R&D incentives. This is now possible, but we have to make it happen.
For CPTech's longer statement, see this.

To see what some of the same groups said 5 years ago when the Doha Declaration was promulgated please see this link:



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