Workshop on Intellectual Property, Health Care and International Trade Agreements

May 7-8, 1998
Hotel Washington
Washington, DC

Version 1.04

Sponsored by:

There will be a workshop on Intellectual Property and Health Care in Washington, DC, on May 7 and 8, 1998. The purpose of the workshop will be to discuss current and developing controversies regarding intellectual property in international trade agreements, as such they concern public health.

Persons who work in public health, consumer groups, government, or international organizations are encouraged to attend.


Over the past decade, international trade agreements have increasingly focused on non-tariff topics, including intellectual property. Today the World Trade Organization (WTO), the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and proposed treaties, such as the Multinational Agreement on Investments (MAI) and the Free Trade Area for the Americas (FTAA) have controversial intellectual property provisions which have significant impact on public health policy. In addition, the United States is engaged in a plethora of bilateral and multilateral trade negotiations on health care and intellectual property topics. Pharmaceutical and biotechnology interests are very active in shaping the international debate in these matters, while consumer and public health groups are generally inactive.

The topics are diverse. The following are only a few of the current controversies over intellectual property.


The Plan for the Workshop

Representatives from industry groups, government organizations and academia have been invited make presentations and answer questions on a variety of topics. However, the main focus of the meetings will be the dialogue between participants over IP specific issues. This will be a "working group" workshop. People will be encouraged to ask questions and make contributions during discussions. We will begin with a review of the institutional framework for policy making in international trade venues, followed by brief presentations and discussions of specific IP issues. It is expected that participants will outline specific positions on topics, such as the appropriate international norm for disclosure of health registration data, or the scope of Trademark rights in the context of generic drug substitution, or other topics, and that these positions will be discussed by participants. This is expected to take up the first day and half.
  The second half of the second day will focus on organizing strategies for public health and consumer groups.
This is include an identification of  areas for coordinated actions to increase consumers' inputs and
perspectives on health and IP debates and policy making, and the development of statements that can help build that coordination and be the basis for taking positions in national and international fora.

Prior to the meeting, there will be an internet email forum on workshop topics. Participants will be encouraged to submit and discuss various topics in cyberspace prior to the Washington, DC meeting.

LOCATION The meeting will be held at the Hotel Washington, which is located at Pennsylvania & 15th Street, N.W.. The Hotel Washington is across the street from the White House, only 10 minutes from National Airport, and convenient to the Metrorail system. The URL for the Hotel is .  Reservations info by email is at:


Persons interested in participating in the workshop should contact Catherine Gavin <> or James Love <> at the Consumer Project on Technology, voice 202.387.8030, fax 202.234.5176. There is no fee, but people should provide advance registration.

Please send the following information to, or fax to Catherine Gavin at: 202.234.5176

Name:                     ______________________________
Title:                       ______________________________
Affliation:               ______________________________
Postal Address:      _______________________________
Country                   _______________________________
Telephone              ___________________
Fax                         ___________________
Electronic Mail      ___________________
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Updated information about the workshop will be on the Web at:

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