Civil Society, Elected Officials Rally Behind UNITAID Patent Pool

CC License - photo by rodrigo senna This week’s consideration of an implementation plan for a medicines patent pool by the board of oversight body UNITAID stirred a stream of stakeholder letters from around the world. UNITAID, a drug purchasing facility, is in the process of implementing a patent pool for HIV/AIDS medicines, aimed at bringing lower priced needed medicines to developing countries.


State and DC Legislators Write Senate on Health Reform - Protest Data Exclusivity Provisions for Biogenerics

photo from dc city council webpage National Legislative Association on Prescription Drug Prices sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid urging that he amend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to more directly and effectively lower the cost of pharmaceuticals. The letter included criticism of the biogeneric provisions that would allow brand name firms to use consecutive 12 year periods of data exclusivity to block generic entry.


PIJIP Professor Sean Flynn Responds to Supreme Court Decision in Sorrell v. IMS Health, Inc.

Picture from the SCOTUS website

Today the United States Supreme Court struck down a Vermont law that limited the sale of physician-identifiable prescription data for marketing purposes. In a 6-3 decision, the Court held that the law was a violation of the First Amendment. Prof. Sean Fiil-Flynn, Associate Director of the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property at the Washington College of Law served as counsel for amici AARP and National Legislative Association on Prescription Drug Prices. Prof. Fiil-Flynn responds:

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Supreme Court to Hear Prescription Privacy Case - Sorrell v. IMS Health, Inc.

CC License- photo by Darren Hester

Tuesday, April 26, 2011, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Sorrell v. IMS Health, Inc, et al. The case focuses of the ability of states to protect the confidentiality of health care date, specifically the ability of states to restrict the use of physician-identifiable data for the purpose of pharmaceutical marketing. American University, Washington College of Law’s Program on Information Justice & Intellectual Property’s Sean Flynn and Meredith Jacob had previously filed an amicus curiae brief in this case. The brief, filed on behalf of AARP and the National Legislative Association on Prescription Drug Prices, argued that the Supreme Court should not limit this valuable tool for protecting medical privacy and controlling prescription drug prices. This case raises central questions about the interplay of privacy protections and the First Amendment, and will set the stage for upcoming decisions about consumer privacy, consent, and the sale of data.

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Access to Medicine Legal Education Initiative

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UNDP, OSI, PIJIP Meeting on Trade Agreements, Intellectual Property, and Access to Medicines, Kiev, Ukraine, 2009

September 21-22, Kiev Ukraine. Participants were drawn from nations undertaking or seriously considering Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations with western nations, or acceding to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

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Kyiv-Mohyla Academy IP and Access to Medicines Training, September 2009

September 14-18, Kiev, Ukriaine. PIJIP, OSI and the Kyiv-Mohyla Academyhosted a training to show advocates from Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States how intellectual property flexibilities permitted by international law can be used to promote access to affordable generic medicines.

Namibian MP 80px 2009 Statement of Participants from SADC Parliamentary Training

May 12-14, Pretoria, South Africa. A three-day workshop for Parliamentarians from SADC nations was organized by PIJIP, the University of Pretoria, UNDP and OSI. Participants from thirteen countries attended, and issued a joint statement on IP, trade and health.

ACHPR Logo 80px African Commission on Human and People's Rights Resolution on Access to Health and Needed Medicines in Africa

The 44th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights in Abuja, Nigeria has adopted the Resolution on the Right to Health and Access to Needed Medicines in Africa. The resolution was based on the NGO statement produced by clinical students after the previous Access to Medicine Short Course in Pretoria.

NGO Forum 80px 2008 NGO Resolution on Access to Needed Medicines

Pretoria and WCL students worked with groups fighting HIV/AIDS on the continent to prepare a resolution calling on the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to recognize human rights to access needed medicines.  It specifically calls on the Commission to take “full advantage of all flexibilities in the WTO Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property that promote access to affordable medicines.”

Pretoria Students 1 - 80px Human Rights and Access to Medicines Short Course, University of Pretoria, 2008

May, 2008. The short course was planned and taught by seven professors and practitioners from six countries. The 46 participants in the course included LLM students from 21 countries, government officials, academics, parliamentarians and activists.

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 Clinical Group on Access to Medicine in Africa

PIJIP and Pretoria students have created the Clinical Group on Access to Medicine in Africa. They have compiled a large bibliography materials, and have written a white paper, and have worked with African civil society groups to draft a submission to the Commission for its November meeting in Abuja, Nigeria. 

Pretoria Speaker 80pxAdditional Materials

The Human Rights and Access to Medicine Legal Education Initiative has compiled a large amount of resources covering the intersecting areas of intellectual property, human rights obligations, and access to medicines. This page is an ongoing compilation of these materials, including treaties, laws, journal articles, and more.