Selected topics

Support KEI's work with a donation.



Recent blogs

2017 R&D Cost Transparency Proposals in the United States

On March 9, 2017, KEI was scheduled to testify before the Maryland House Committee on Health on HB 666, a bill that would require an annual report on R&D costs from drug companies that sell high-priced medicines in the state of Maryland.

In advance of the hearing, I prepared a note that summarizes provisions in both transparency and pharmaceutical price gouging legislation that would require the disclosure of the costs associated with research and development. This note is a less detailed version of this 2016 summary.

This year, so far, legislators in 13 states have introduced 21 bills that would require some degree of transparency.

map of states with transparency bills

8 March 2017 - Statement of Portugal - HRC 34 - Panel on Access to Medicines

On 8 March 2017, the Permanent Representative of Portugal, Ambassador Pedro Nuno Bártolo, made a powerful intervention at the Human Rights Council's panel discussion on access to medicines. Portugal stressed that access to medicines is a fundamental element of the right to health and highlighted how the high prices of hepatitis C and cancer medicines made them unaffordable to large segments of the population in industrialized countries.

8 March 2017 - Statement of the European Union - HRC 34 - Panel on Access to Medicines

On 8 March 2017, the European Union (EU) delivered the following statement to the Human Rights Council's panel discussion on Access to Medicines. As the Human Right Council imposed a strict two minute limit on interventions, the EU was not able to raise the following two questions contained at the end of its intervention.

I have two questions for the Panel.

Could the panellists suggest further measures to promote a holistic approach to access to medicines?

8 March 2017 - Statement of the World Trade Organization - HRC 34 - Panel on Access to Medicines

On 8 March 2017, the World Trade Organization delivered the following statement at the Human Rights Council's panel on Access to Medicines.

WTO statement – Antony Taubman

It’s an honour for the WTO Secretariat to join this distinguished panel. Today’s discussion is a welcome step forward in the journey together towards the shared goal of access to medicines for all, and promoting the development of urgently needed new medicines, recognizing the centrality of the human rights perspective for this collective effort.

8 March 2017 - Statement of Deputy High Commissioner (Kate Gilmore, OHCHR) on the Right to Health

On 8 March 2017, Kate Gilmore, United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, delivered this opening address to the Human Rights Council's panel on Access to Medicines. Deputy High Commissioner Gilmore identified the following challenge posed by intellectual property rights:

KEI Submission to Oregon Senate on R&D Cost Transparency Provisions in SB 793

Today, KEI submitted written testimony on SB 793 — a bill that is designed to allow the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services to investigate price increases for prescription drugs — in advance of a hearing before the Oregon Senate Committee on Health Care at 1:00 P.M. (PST) on March 9, 2017.

Notes on 2017 Special 301 Submissions

Wednesday, March 8, 2017, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) will hold the first Special 301 Hearing of the Trump administration. This year, USTR received 63 submissions in advance fo the hearing from governments, civil society organizations, and industry groups.

This blog post pulls out interesting selections from the various submissions, and includes as attachments the submissions of selected organizations.

8 March 2017 - Human Rights Council's Access to Medicines panel set to discuss Report of UN HLP

On 8 March 2017, the Human Rights Council will convene a three hour Access to Medicines panel which will take place from 3 PM to 6 PM in Room XX of the Palais des Nations in Geneva. This panel is mandated by resolution 32/15 which passed at 32nd session of the Human Rights Council (June/July 2016). The resolution directed the Human Rights Council to convene an access to medicines panel at its 34th session in March 2017.

March 2017 - WTO TRIPS Council - Brazil's statement on copyright and e-commerce

At the March 2017 session of the WTO TRIPS Council, Brazil delivered the following statement on copyright and e-commerce.

Copyright and e-commerce

Statement from Brazil

1 March 2017 - WTO TRIPS Council - India's statement on Non-Violation and Situation Complaints

On 1 March 2017, India delivered the following intervention on Non-Violation and Situation Complaints at the WTO TRIPS Council.

Agenda Item 8. Non-Violation and Situation Complaints

Mr.Chairman, my delegation would like to thank the delegation of Kyrgyz Republic for joining as co-sponsor of document W385 Rev.1.

1 March 2017 - WTO TRIPS Council - India's intervention on the Report of the UN High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines

On 1 March 2017, India delivered the following statement during WTO TRIPS Council discussions on the United Nations Secretary-General’s High Level Panel Report on Access to Medicines.

Agenda item 12: the United Nations Secretary-General’s High Level Panel Report on Access to Medicines

Thank you Chairman.

At the outset, I would like to thank delegations of Brazil, China and South Africa who are also co-sponsors of this agenda item.

1 March 2017 - WTO TRIPS Council - Brazil's intervention on the Report of the UN High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines

On 1 March 2017, Brazil delivered the following statement during WTO TRIPS Council discussions on the Report of the United Nations High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines.

High Level Panel

As we all know, on 19 November 2015, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced the creation of the High-Level Panel on Innovation and Access to Health Technologies. Responding to this invitation, two chairs were designated to the panel, namely, Ms. Ruth Dreifuss, from Switzerland, and Festus Mogae, from Botswana.

Company disclosures of R&D costs on SEC filings

Today I attended a work session of the Maryland House of Delegates subcommittee on Health Facilitates and Pharmaceuticals of the Health and Government Operations Committee. I was there to testify in support of HB 666, a bill titled: Public Health – Expensive Drugs – Manufacturer Reporting and Drug Price Transparency Advisory Committee. (PDF version here).

Ambassador Shameem Ahsan (Bangladesh) remarks on UN HLP - Opportunities to Advance Health Technology and Access

On 1 March 2017, Bangladesh, Brazil, India and South Africa, the Secretariat of the United Nations Secretary-General's High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines and the South Centre convened a side event at the World Trade Organization (WTO) on the United Nations Secretary-General's High Level Panel on Access to Medicines: Opportunities to Advance Health Technology and Access. This event took place on the margins of the WTO TRIPS Council.

CDC FOIA shows US, WHO opposed request to discuss UNSG's High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines Report at EB

Email records and memoranda released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in response to a Knowledge Ecology International Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request show that representatives of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United States government opposed including India's proposed agenda item on the United Nations Secretary-General's High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines for discussion at the 140th WHO Executive Board meeting.

The full set of documents, which was released to KEI without redaction, are available here:

Syndicate content