CP-TECH backs AGAP campaign to lower price of medicine

Posted on May 23, 2006. Filed under: Resources |

The Consumer Project on Technology
Statement of Support to the AGAP Alliance
The Philippines, May 23 2006

The Consumer Project on Technology (CPTech) supports the initiative that is launched today: the AYOS NA GAMOT SA ABOT-KAYANG PRESYO (AGAP) or “Quality Medicines at Affordable Prices” Alliance.

We are pleased to support the campaign to fight for greater access to medicines at prices affordable to most Filipinos.

We note that the 2001 WTO Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health made a powerful promise to the world:

“We agree that the TRIPS Agreement does not and should not prevent Members from taking measures to protect public health.  Accordingly, while reiterating our commitment to the TRIPS Agreement, we affirm that the Agreement can and should be interpreted and implemented in a manner supportive of WTO Members’ right to protect public health and, in particular, to promote access to medicines for all. In this connection, we reaffirm the right of WTO Members to use, to the full, the provisions in the TRIPS Agreement, which provide flexibility for this purpose.” (Paragraph 4)

The Pfizer lawsuit against Philippines’ government officials, a regulatory agency and a government-owned company for the early registration of Norvasc, in order to promote the legal parallel trade of cheaper versions of this medicine, has shown that the launch of campaigns like this one is timely.

We have been following this litigation, as well as other aspects of the Philippine struggle to expand access to medicines, and we welcome the concrete initiatives of this new campaign, including (i) the amendment of the patent law of the Philippines to include public health flexibilities; (ii) a spirited implementation of the Generics Act of the Philippines; and (iii) more measures to provide a more competitive and cost effective pharmaceutical industry.

At CPTech, we are also working on three new initiatives that we would ask Filipinos to consider.  One is a proposal for a global patent pool for essential medicines that would facilitate greater competition for the manufacture and sale of essential medicines. The second is the development of a new global framework convention for essential medical R&D, as has been proposed by some countries in the World Health Organization.   Finally, we need to consider new innovative approaches to finance medical R&D that can better reconcile the needs of both access and innovation — such as the medical innovation prize fund proposal. We are happy to provide more information on these proposals.

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The Consumer Project on Technology (CPTech) is a nonprofit organization based in Washington D.C., with offices in London and Geneva.

In general, CPTech focuses on the consumer or public perspective on intellectual property policy disputes. Our work since 1995 is documented extensively on the webpage: http://www.cptech.org

Currently, CPTech is focusing on issues concerning the production of and access to knowledge, including medical inventions, information and cultural goods, and other knowledge goods. Much of this work concerns intellectual property policy and practices, but some of it concerns different approaches to the production of knowledge goods, including for example new business models that support creative individuals and communities, and new incentive systems for investments in medical and agricultural inventions, such as those involving prizes and/or competitive intermediaries.

For more information:

Consumer Project on Technology
1621 Connecticut Ave, NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20009 USA
Tel.: +1.202.332.2670, Fax: +1.202.332.2673

Consumer Project on Technology
1 Route des Morillons, CP 2100, 1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland
Tel: +41 22 791 6727

Consumer Project on Technology
24 Highbury Crescent, London, N5 1RX, UK
Tel: +44(0)207 226 6663 ex 252 Fax: +44(0)207 354 0607

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