19 September 2016 Current Affairs: The United Nations High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines has called for delinking drug prices from research and development (R&D) costs. The report submitted by panel calls for human rights to be placed over intellectual property laws of pharmaceutical companies and incoherence between them should be narrowed.
All countries must freely be able to use flexibilities granted under TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) to access affordable medicines. Countries that retaliate and threaten against generic drugs makers in different countries under the TRIPS Agreement must be forced to face significant sanctions. Public health assessments must be done with every free trade negotiation to assess the possible impact on public health and creation of public health patentability criteria.
Governments engaged in bilateral and regional trade and investment treaties should ensure that these agreements do not include provisions that interfere with their obligations to fulfil the right to health. Research institutions and universities that receive public funding must prioritize public health objectives over financial returns in their patenting and licensing practices. Governments should increase their current levels of investments to in heath technology innovation to address unmet needs.
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