Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) in conjunction
with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centre for
Trade and Development (CENTAD) have organized a Dialogue on
the "Examination of Pharmaceutical Patents: Developing
Public Health Perspectives" on the 13-14 December in New
Delhi, India. Participants will include government, industry,
IO, and NGO representatives and experts on the subject.
The event will attempt
to address the broader issue of developing criteria for the
grant of drug patents, specifically balancing protection of
intellectual property rights and concerns of access to health.
The consultation will focus on the various types of claims that
subsist in the context of pharmaceutical patents. The event
will also examine the mechanisms for examination of pharmaceutical
patents from a public health perspective.
There has been increasing
interest about how international trade agreements and intellectual
property rights can limit access to medicines. The interaction
between trade, IP, and access to medicines has led to the adoption
of the Doha Ministerial Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and
Public Health. This Declaration affirmed that the TRIPS Agreement
should be interpreted and implemented in a manner that allows
for countries to take measures that protect public health and
promote access to medicines.
Patents, and IPRs,
are often said to promote innovation and R&D of new medicines,
but evidence shows that patents on genuinely new pharmaceutical
products is limited. The majority of patents are granted to
cover modifications to existing drugs. Similarly, the majority
of pharmaceutical R&D today focuses on variations, not on
the development of new entities. Changes regarding production
and patenting of medicines will have large effects on the pharmaceutical
industry and patent system.
place the discussion of patents in the context of public health
and specifically the balance between IP protection and access
to medicine. Also discussed will be TRIPS versus local flexibilities,
and typical claims made during patenting of pharmaceutical products.
Experiences and problems in Developed Countries will be presented
and participants will also look at mechanisms that could enhance
the examination of pharmaceutical patenting. The mechanisms
include the opportunity for pre- and post-grant opposition to
patents and rules and procedures of the examination of patent-applicants'