Bangkok hears a WHO

  • by: |
  • 03/03/2008
Previously we commented on the WHO sending a team to Bangkok to discuss compulsory licensing in the broader context of TRIPS flexibiltiies ("WHO to WIPO: Having wonderful time. Glad you're not here").

Here's a link to those comments:

Well, the WHO has completed it's report -- and it's a doozy. Here's a link to the complete report:

Download file

To give you a hint as to the direction of the study, here are the final 14 words of the report:

"WHO supports measures which improve access to essential medicines, including application of TRIPS flexibilities."

And in the context of the report, "TRIPS flexibilities" means "compulsory licensing."

However, earlier in the report, the WHO team has a moment of cognitive lucidity. Consider this statement:

"A competitive marketplace is the best way to ensure low prices for medicines. Proper organization of the market and application of anti-trust (monopoly) laws should facilitate price competition."

But it's only a brief shining moment. Here's the end of that paragraph:

"However, if the pharmaceutical market is not competitive and/or there is a need to contain medicine prices, governments may choose to institute price controls."

This report is both a "how-to" guide for nations considering compulsory licensing and a WHO-ized papal dispensation for intellectual property theft.

What would John Calvin say?

Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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