Letter from KEI, Public Citizen, Oxfam America and Health GAP to Senator Hatch, regarding Colombia Compulsory License

Attached is a letter that KEI, Public Citizen, Oxfam America and Health GAP have sent to Senator Hatch, via the Senate Finance Committee, objecting to the pressure his office has put on Colombia over a compulsory license on patents held by Novartis for the cancer drug Gleevec. This refers to the accounts of pressure from Hatch’s office that are described in two letters from the Colombia Embassy in Washington, dated April 27 and April 28, which were recently leaked.

Among other things, the NGO letter to Hatch says:

“If these letters sent by the Embassy of Colombia are accurate, this is a highly inappropriate and wholly objectionable attempt to interfere with the right of the Colombian government to proceed with this compulsory license through threats and distortions. In our view it is particularly unconscionable that this be tied in any way to funding for Paz Colombia to support the peace process.”

We have a document with some context and background on the Colombia dispute here: /node/2568, and more generally here: /colombia. KEI has copies and English translations of both letters. Public Citizen has more here on the history of the dispute. http://www.citizen.org/colombia-CL-campaign-story

For the groups signing this letter, the persons following this dispute include James Love and Andrew Goldman from KEI, Rob Weissman, Peter Maybarduk and Steven Knievel from Public Citizen, Stephanie Burgos from Oxfam America and Brook Baker from Health GAP.

There are NGOs in Colombia following this too, and some contacts include: Francisco Rossi, Andrea Carolina Reyes Rojas, Luz Mariana Umbasia Bernal and German Holguín, with contact details on the KEI FAQ.

We have also been collecting press clips on this here: