Intellectual property and trade


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#HandsOffOurMeds Intellectual property and trade Campaign generic medicines

Don't shut down the pharmacy of the developing world


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Urge Indian Prime Minister Modi to protect India’s production of lifesaving affordable generic medicines. 👇

MSF to @PMOIndia: Protect the pharmacy of the developing world! #HandsOffOurMeds

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Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) relies heavily on generic medicines made in India to carry out its medical work in more than 60 countries. But the ‘pharmacy of the developing world’ is under attack from the US, the EU, Japan and others who are protecting multinational pharmaceutical profits over peoples’ lives.

Don't shut down the pharmacy of the developing world!

Millions of people around the world rely on affordable medicines made in India to stay alive.

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MSF urges PM Modi not to make any trade commitments to US threatening access to medicines

Intellectual property and trade Press release United States of AmericaIndia

“India should be cautious while signing any trade package or launching trade negotiations with the US that may include harmful provisions threatening India’s ability to produce and supply affordable medical products. Going by past practises, the key focus of the US in any trade pact has always been to prioritise the interests of its pharmaceutical corporations at the cost of people lives.

The world can’t afford to see India’s pharmacy shut down to protect the profiteering of U.S. pharmaceutical corporations.”


MSF statement on WHA72: Access to medicines and vaccines, Document A72/17 - agenda item 11.7

72nd WHO World Health Assembly – May 2019
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) statement on agenda item 11.7: Access to medicines and vaccines, Document A72/17

Speaker: Gaelle Krikorian

MSF welcomes the road map and the holistic approach it provides for WHO’s work on access to medicines. We are here to ask Member States to take a specific step to deliver on the road map’s potential.

Exorbitant medicine prices limit MSF’s ability to provide the best possible treatment for people in our care. The same holds true for governments represented here today. This week, Member States are negotiating an important resolution on medicines transparency – covering four areas where full transparency is urgently needed: research and development (R&D) costs, clinical trial results, medicines patents, and the real prices of medicines.

This resolution could help save lives by setting strong norms and standards to help correct the unacceptable power imbalance that exists between those who need and purchase medicines – and those who produce and sell them.

Pharmaceutical corporations do not set medicine prices with the objective of ensuring access for all people in need. They set them in order to maximise profit, which leads to rationing of medicines when patients and health systems cannot afford the prices they charge. When governments sign confidentiality agreements on prices, they give companies the upper hand in price negotiations. But countries do not have to consent to being blindfolded. There are no legal barriers that mandate this damaging secrecy.

Transparency can help level the playing field and give governments the information they need to negotiate fairly and responsibly for people and their health. We ask Member States to require transparency on the prices countries pay for medicines, the mark-ups companies charge, and companies’ production costs. And governments need to know who pays what for R&D – how much investment is really covered by companies, and how much is underwritten by taxpayers and non-profit groups.

MSF urges Member States to adopt a bold and clear resolution to set strong standards that mandate transparency on medicine prices and R&D costs.

World Health AssemblyWorld Health Organization Intellectual property and tradeResearch and development Statement
Photograph by UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe Photograph by UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

A Matter of Life & Death: The Role of Patents in Access to Essential Medicines

MSF briefing for the 4th WTO Ministerial Conference in Doha, Qatar. Includes articles on how generic competition brings down drug prices, TRIPS safeguards in use in developed countries, and why donations won’t solve the access crisis, among others. Ends with recommendations to the WTO members to support a pro-public health interpretation of the TRIPS Agreement.

Read more here.

Intellectual property and trade Issue brief Doha Declaration

The Role of Patents in Access to Essential Medicines

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