PhRMA comments on ACTA: ISP Liability, Parallel Trade and Generic APIs

These are a few quick points about the PhRMA submission.

1. PhRMA asks that ACTA “Establish liability for Internet Service Providers and Other Operators that Facilitate Trade in Counterfeit Medical Products.”

This is potentially quite an important and controversial recommendation. PhRMA wants to make telecommunications companies liable if one of their customers sells counterfeit products.
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What is a Counterfeit?

On Tuesday, 20 May 2008, the United Arab Emirates, Nigeria, Ghana, Gambia and Tunisia introduced a draft resolution (A61/A/Conf. Paper No 1) on counterfeiting.

While counterfeiting medicines is an important public health problem, and as traditionally defined, is a criminal enterprise that should be subject to tough legal sanctions, the resolution is problematic.

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Open licensing vs Monopoly Controlled Supply

One of the most important battles being waged both inside and outside of the IGWG concerns the nature of competition for the supply of inexpensive medicines and vaccines.

The large pharma companies with well-known brands and big marketing and distribution systems want to marginalize developing country generic suppliers, as actual or potential competitors. This plays out in various ways. For example:

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Tom Giovanetti on the R&D Treaty, and political science

Tom Giovanetti kindly sent me a link to his latest NGO bashing. This one titled: “IP skeptic NGOs as Marxists.” This is his attempt to label the various public health groups as Marxists, and his brief attempt to understand or describe a February 2005 proposal for one possible approach R&D Treaty.

First, I have told Tom Giovanetti several times that while his hysterical red baiting is amusing at times, it is also sometimes offensive and boring.

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Sweden, acting badly

I’m not sure who has been sharing this on the list, but the very worst country in the negotiations, among the 190+ members of the WHO, is, without a doubt, Sweden. Sweden has been making it very difficult for Europe to take reasonable positions in the negotiations, and Sweden is consistently taking the most extreme positions in the negotiations among the European countries, and competing with Mexico for the most anti-consumer views in the room.

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