Zack Struver's blog

122 experts defend Colombia's right to issue compulsory license on imatinib in face of U.S. pressure

(More on Colombia here: http://keionline.org/colombia)

On May 16, 2016, 122 health, trade, and intellectual property experts defended the Colombian government's right to issue a compulsory license on imatinib, an expensive leukemia drug that is being sold at a high price by the Swiss drug company Novartis, in a letter to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.

Xtandi patient on Medicare — with supplement — pays $441.97 per month

Astellas has claimed that patients taking Xtandi face very small co-payments. One patient living in Arizona contacted KEI with proof that Astellas' claims just aren't true. The patient, who is on Medicare, provided a copy of a summary of his expenses for the first quarter of of 2016.

His monthly patient co-payment is $441.97 a month.

2016: NIH FOIA office withholds all records related to exclusive license on HER2+ breast cancer treatment technology

Other KEI comments on NIH licenses are found here: http://keionline.org/nih-licenses

In response to a February request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for documents related to the grant of an exclusive patent license on a HER2+ breast cancer treatment technology, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) withheld in full all responsive records.

Rep. Lloyd Doggett keynote address at CAP drug pricing event highlights Xtandi, federal funding of pharmaceutical R&D

On April 26, 2016, Congressman Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) delivered the keynote address at a panel discussion on drug pricing at the Center for American Progress, where he addressed the Federal government’s role in subsidizing drug development, ensuring affordable access at reasonable prices for U.S. citizens, industry practices related to monopoly pricing, and legislative solutions to promote rational and affordable drug prices.

Biolyse Pharma offers to supply enzalutamide (Xtandi) for $3 per pill to Medicare and developing countries

On April 22, 2016, the President of Biolyse Pharma — a Canadian pharmaceutical company that specializes in the manufacture of oncology drugs — offered to supply the prostate cancer drug enzalutamide (Xtandi) to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for $3 per pill ($12 per day; $4,383 per year). The Biolyse price for enzalutamide is 4-percent of the 2014 Medicare price, $69.41 ($277.64 per day; $101,408.01 per year), and lower than any other price in the world.

11 Groups Urge NIH to Lower Price of Xtandi, NIH/Army-Funded Prostate Cancer Drug With $129k/Year Price Tag

CONTACT:
Zack Struver
zack.struver@keionline.org
+1 (914) 582-1428

FOR RELEASE: MARCH 21, 2016

Non-Profit Groups Urge Obama Administration, NIH to Lower Price of Government-Funded, $129,000 Per Year Prostate Cancer Drug
The groups asked the National Institutes of Health to “take this opportunity to act” to lower the price of the prostate cancer drug Xtandi and show leadership on deterring discriminatory pricing practices.

Congressman Doggett Voices Support for KEI/UACT Petition to NIH on Xtandi

On Monday, March 7, 2016, Congressman Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas, issued a statement in support of the recent Knowledge Ecology International (KEI) and Union for Affordable Cancer Treatment (UACT) request that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) authorize the generic production of an expensive prostate cancer drug in order to curb an excessive and discriminatory price in the United States.

KEI comments to Copyright Office on software-enabled consumer products

Submission of Knowledge Ecology International
U.S. Copyright Office Docket No. 2015-6

This is the submission of Knowledge Ecology International (KEI) in response to the U.S. Copyright Office request for public comment on “software-enabled consumer products” (U.S. Copyright Office Docket No. 2015-6).

Introduction

Knowledge Ecology International is a non-governmental organization with offices in Washington, DC, and Geneva, Switzerland, that searches for better outcomes, including new solutions, to the management of knowledge resources.

This submission covers these topics:

NIH acknowledges KEI/UACT request to use royalty-free or march-in rights on Xtandi

On February 8, 2016, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) responded to Knowledge Ecology International (KEI) and the Union for Affordable Cancer Treatment’s (UACT) letter requesting that the federal government exercise its authority under the Bayh-Dole Act to break patents on an expensive prostate cancer drug.

Dr. Margaret Chan: TPP may "close access to affordable medicines"

World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan addressed civil society and policy-oriented “think tanks” on November 12, 2015, and “challenge[d]” them to “help with issues that keep me awake at night.” Specifically, she mentioned the problems with pharmaceutical patents, high drug prices as a barrier to access, and the current system of incentives for new drug innovation. Dr. Chan also raised concerns about the the TPP, which she said may raise drug prices and harm access to generics.

WTO Decision on Least Developed Country (LDC) Drug Patent Waiver

For Immediate Release
3 November 2015
Contact: Zack Struver, +1 (202) 332-2670 or zack.struver@keionline.org

Geneva — The World Trade Organization is poised to announce this Friday its approval of a limited 17-year extension of a 2001 waiver of obligations in the TRIPS Agreement, set to expire at the end of this year, the terms of which exempt Least Developed Countries (LDCs) from requirements to grant patents or related intellectual property rights on pharmaceutical products.

Harvard's Oct. 23, 2015 forum on "Drug Pricing: Public Health Implications"

On October 23, 2015, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health hosted a forum titled "Drug Pricing: Public Health Implications," that was moderated by Caroline Humer, a Reuters healthcare correspondent. The forum featured a panel of four individuals who work on drug pricing:

  • Steven Pearson, President of the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review and Lecturer at Harvard Medical School

KEI protests USTR opposition to WTO LDC permanent drug patent waiver

On Wednesday, October 14, 2015, KEI staff and members of Public Citizen's Global Access to Medicines team demonstrated outside of the White House and USTR, urging the administration, especially USTR and Ambassador Michael Froman, to support a request for a permanent drug patent waiver for Least Developed Countries (LDCs) at the WTO.

Below are images from the protest action, also available in higher resolution here. And, yes, you can use these photos under any creative commons or wikimedia license.

Senator Bernie Sanders Asks USTR to Endorse Waiver of WTO Patent Rules for Least Developed Countries

Knowledge Ecology International Press Release
28 September 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Zack Struver
+1 (202) 332-2670
zack.struver@keionline.org

Senator Bernie Sanders asks USTR to endorse “indefinite waiver” of WTO requirements to grant drug patents for Least Developed Countries (LDCs)

KEI urges investigation of trade pressures on Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in light of Executive Order 13155

Knowledge Ecology International sent letters today (attached to this release), September 21, 2015, to the Office of the General Counsel to the United States Trade Representative (USTR) and the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Commerce, asking that they investigate USTR and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for the potential violation of an Executive Order issued by Bill Clinton — which prohibits the use of trade pressures to hinder polices related to access to HIV/AIDS medicines in sub-Saharan Africa — in their attempt to stop a request by Least Develop

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