Scope of Diseases Debate
December 20, 2002
Here are a few odd notes from the scope of disease front.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.