James Love's blog

Recent cancer drug prices


April 29, 2010.
Brand name: Provenge
Generic name: Sipuleucel-T
Marketed by: Dendreon
Indication: therapy for certain men with advanced prostate cancer that uses their own immune system to fight the disease.
FDA press release here.
US Price: $31,000 per infusion. A full course of treatment is three infusions over a one-month period, or $93k.

USPTO issued patents mentioning ritonavir in a patent claim

This note begins by looking at patents issued by the USPTO that specifically mention the term ritonavir in the patent claims, or mention the NIH contract that was used to fund the early development of the product. This includes 194 patents that cite ritonavir in the patent claims, and another 42 patents that cite the NIH contact that funded the early ritonavir work. We also provide quotes from an August 19, 2011 WIPO report on the patent landscape for ritonavir that found 805 patent families related to ritonavir.

Coverage of persons living with HIV included in Gilead MPP Licenses

To better understand the benefits of the Gilead/MPP licenses, I have made some calculations of the persons living with HIV that are covered in the geographic areas of the various Gilead/MPP licenses.

  • TDF/FTC territories
  • COBI territories
  • EVG-Quad territories

KEI comments on the ITPC Letter to the Medicines Patent Pool Foundation and UNITAID

The following excerpts are from an exchange of messages on ip-health about a recent recent petition regarding the patent pool that has been posted to several public health email lists. Among the leaders in the petition are apparently ITPC and the New York based I-MAK. ITPC has a long history of advocating for the interests of persons living with HIV, and I-MAK has for many years sought to overcome patent barriers for access to medicines. A copy of the petition is here http://www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/mppunitaid.

KEI comment on US signing of ACTA

Today USTR was pointing to four documents to explain the U.S. decision to sign the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. While it was not surprising that the United States signed the agreement, KEI was disappointed that the statements did not address the issue of the inconsistencies between US law and the ACTA, or make any commitments that the ACTA Committee would operate in an open, transparent and inclusive manner.

These are the USTR documents:

David Hammerstein tweets on the European Parliament hearing on the WIPO Treaty for Blind negotiations

These were copied from David Hammerstein's twitter feed, October 3, 2010.


  • Treaty Visually Impaired before European Parliament at aprox. 15:30. Webstream: bit.ly/kQgrDf info: bit.ly/oDLbL0
  • This is the correct link for the webstreaming of Treaty of visually impaired before the European Parliament: bit.ly/PwS9T
  • Session begins in EP´s Petition Committee on Treaty for Visually Impaired. Chris Friend, World Blind Union condemns us to "book famine"

ACTA is not consistent with US laws on injunctions and damages

Two areas where ACTA is inconsistent with US law, injunctions and damages
KEI Policy Brief, 2011:2
30 September 2011, revised 3 October 2011
James Love and Krista Cox

As the U.S. is reportedly about to sign ACTA, we wanted to point out two important areas where ACTA is not consistent with U.S. law. These are the sections of ACTA dealing with injunctions and damages. Below we have included the text from ACTA and the WTO TRIPS agreement on these two topics.

KEI Statement to WIPO GA on Advisory Committee on Enforcement

This was read today, September 30, 2011, at the WIPO GA

Agenda Item 33 (iii), the Advisory Committee on Enforcement

KEI comments on work of Standing Committee on the Law of Patents (SCP), WIPO GA 2011

This was read today, September 30, 2011, at the WIPO GA

Agenda Item 33(i) Standing Committee on the Law of Patents

KEI agrees with the perceptive and constructive comments offered by South Africa on behalf of the Africa Group, and India, on behalf of the Development Agenda Group (DAG).

2011 WIPO General Assembly begins week long meeting

The 49th WIPO General Assembly began today, in a packed hall of the CICG convention center. The agenda and other documents for the meeting is available here. The Director General, Francis Gurry, began his talk focusing on financial challenges, and, among other things, several references to the work of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR). Gurry talked about progress on the AV treaty, and progress on an "instrument" for persons with disabilities. He talked about the new SCCR work program on the broadcast treaty. He did not mention the WIPO work on libraries, education or other copyright limitations and exceptions issues.

The meeting is webcast. Countries have been given 5 minutes for opening statements.

DHHS Secretary Donna Shalala to Rep Jan Schakowsky in 2000, on WHO access to fed funded patent rights

In 2000, President Clinton asked Donna Shalala, then the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), to write to Representative Jan Schakowsky. Schakowky had asked President Clinton to provide the World Health Organization with royalty free rights to health care products, for which the United States holds rights.

Schakowsky was pressing President Clinton to share its rights, under 35 USC 202(c)(4) -- a federal statute that reserves certain rights in patents where the federal government provided funding for the invention.

What the 2001 Doha Declaration Changed

As the UN meets to discuss non-communicable diseases, one area of controversy is the effort by White House trade officials and the European Commissioner for Trade to block any mention in a Political Declaration of the November 14, 2001 WTO Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health.

This note explains why the Doha Declaration was important, and what USTR and DG-Trade are trying to do in the NCD resolution. I will start with a very quick history of the events that led to the 2001 WTO resolution.

Vietnam cables: Data exclusivity should be automatic, comprehensive, retroactive and without procedures and formalities

Michael W. Michalak, former Ambassador to Vietnam, pressured Vietnam on behalf of PhRMA.

Cables recently published by Wikileaks illustrate the degree to which the U.S. has been engaged in writing laws and training judges and government officials in Vietnam, on a wide range of pharmaceutical and intellectual property issues.

USTR releases new White Paper on Access to Medicine: includes almost no specifics in terms of negotiating positions

USTR has released its new White Paper on Access to Medicine. Here is the press release. A copy of the White Paper is available here:


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