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GlaxoSmithKline's reaction to a proposed AIDS patent pool

Bill Heinze has some terrific links on a report by William New at Intellectual Property Watch about a proposal put forward by Consumers International and the Consumer Project on Technology (CP Tech) in the margins of the annual U.N. World Health Assembly on Tuesday.

The proposal would create an "Essential Patent Pool for AIDS" to "enable a sustainable scale up of the global AIDS campaign and expansion of access and creation of needed technologies to combat the AIDS pandemic," Heinze summarizes:

"One advantage to the pooled approach from a developing nation standpoint is that it would allow governments to join together on a compulsory license instead of one government facing the pressure that can accompany such a decision, she noted. It could also help generic producers innovate as some have feared litigation if they started producing in some countries and typically operate on small margins. Under the proposal, royalties for high-income countries would be determined through a formula reflecting "equitable" terms such as the relative therapeutic benefits of products and the affordability of royalties in countries depending on average incomes and the presence of HIV/AIDS."

I also see that a lobbyist from at least one member of the pharmaceutical industry, GlaxoSmithKline, immediately issued a warning -- whether this warning also was a threat from this particular company remains to be seen. Heinze writes,

"In a discussion following the announcement, Jon Pender, director of government affairs for access issues and intellectual property at GlaxoSmithKline, reportedly showed a willingness to discuss the issue further, but said at first reaction that it might lead to research-based industry "washing its hands" (pulling out of) countries that joined the patent pool. An additional concern was that it might mean a reduction of investment in those pharmaceuticals, he said."

More here.

Posted by Product Team on May 19, 2005 at 01:29 PM | Permalink | TrackBack (0)


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