Scope of Diseases Debate

December 20, 2002

Here are a few odd notes from the scope of disease front.

  1. A number of persons where are buzzing about how PhRMA was able to by-pass Zoellick, who is not seen as having any discretion on this issue now, with the White House making all of the decisions. One theory, which doesn't seem to have much actual evidence, but which is popular, is that PhRMA got to Cheney.

  2. The WHO secretariat explained that the meeting with Harvey Bale from the IFPMA made sense, since the IFPMA/PhRMA seemed to the one that would determine the US position.

  3. People are asking, "where is Brundtland" on the scope of disease debate? Or "where is UNDP" or other agencies that might offer some support to developing countries.

  4. Some here were amused that the new US list of 15 diseases includes things like the Eloba Virus and some diseses to which there is no cure. It definately does not include cancer or other major diseases. Is it racist to suggest that cancer, asthma and other illnesses are not a public health problem in Africa, or is this just standard trade politics?

  5. The WTO Secretariate seems to think the developing world will cave in on the scope of disease debate. They can't imagine the US won't get its way.

  6. Exhaustion seems to be a standard negotiating tactic. The developing countries are being summoned to endless meetings by the TRIPS Council Chair and the Secretariat. It is quite amazing how hard so many people are working on this issue. But at a certain point, you can imagine that people just want to move on.

  7. People are quite candid that the game plan is to have the Doha Declaration rewritten on the scope of disease issue, chipping away as much as they can. The Motta text already goes pretty far.

James Love

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