Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry
12 September 2002
ARE ESSENTIAL IN FIGHT AGAINST WORLD DISEASE, ABPI SAYS IN RESPONSE
TO CIPR REPORT
are essential if new medicines are to be developed to fight disease
in both the developed and developing world, the Association of the
British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) said today in its response
to the report by the Commission on Intellectual Property Rights.
is pleased to note the report's recognition that IP protection is
important for the promotion of invention and, in particular, of the
role of patents in the research and development of new medicines.
It also welcomes the Commission's comments on the value of the current
TRIPS agreement with its existing flexibility.
is concerned that the Commission is proposing compulsory licensing
of medicines and an extension of parallel trade as a component of
the resolution of the difficulty of access to medicines in the developing
is clearly a thoughtful report and one that we shall need to consider
in depth," said Dr Trevor Jones, Director General of the ABPI.
"It is important that the report recognises that there are many
factors other than IPR that affect people's access to healthcare in
poorer countries, and that the really important constraints are lack
of resources to improve services, delivery mechanisms, and infrastructure
to distribute and administer medicines safely."
also gives recognition to the fact that differential pricing mechanisms
between the developed world and the developing world are of value.
pharmaceutical industry, over many years, has used differential pricing
throughout the developing world," said Dr Jones. "The prices
of medicines in, for example, the USA, Britain, Germany and France
are significantly different from the same products sold to public
health systems in countries such as Malawi, Uganda, Bangladesh and
believe that for the Least Developed Countries - and for the whole
of sub-Saharan Africa - that access to medicines for malaria and TB,
and anti-retroviral medicines for the treatment of HIV/AIDS through
differential pricing, combined with adequate funding for infrastructure
of health delivery is a positive way forward."
strongly endorses the report's acknowledgement that, when such schemes
are introduced, safeguards must be put in place to ensure that these
products are not re-imported to the developed world.
aspect that the report seems to have overlooked," said Dr Jones,
"is the potential of public/private partnerships between the
industry and national governments to find solutions to the delivery
of healthcare to the developing world within the context that international
IPR makes feasible.
pharmaceutical industry is well aware of the tragedy caused by poor
healthcare provision in the developing world, and is involved in many
schemes to tackle the problem - for example, the involvement of the
industry in the not-for-profit Medicines for Malaria Venture to discover
and develop new medicines for those who need them at affordable prices
while respecting IPR rights.
essential work can only continue against a background of secure patent
protection - a system that brings benefits to the whole of humanity."