KEI Staff's blog

Colombia Issues Public Interest Declaration To Lower Price of Glivec

Health Minister Alejandro Gaviria issued a declaration that it would be in the public interest for the government to lower the price of Novartis’ expensive leukemia drug, Gleevec (imatinib).

CONTACT: Andrew Goldman, +1 (202) 332-2670 or

The following individuals are also available for comment:

  • Andrea Carolina Reyes Rojas, Misión Salud:
  • Dr. Francisco Rossi, IFARMA:

Washington, DC, June 17, 2016 — Colombian Minister of Health Alejandro Gaviria today issued Resolution 2475 of 2016, declaring that it would be in the public interest for the government of Colombia to lower the price of an expensive leukemia drug. The Ministry of Health describes this resolution as unprecedented in Colombia.

The drug, imatinib, is marketed as Glivec in Colombia by the Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis at a price of approximately $15,000 per patient per year, nearly twice the average income of a Colombian resident. Glivec has generated over $47 billion in global revenue for Novartis.

HAI/KEI intervention at the WHA69 on the negotiations on an R&D agreement

Jamie-740x.jpg The following is the intervention on behalf of Stichting Health Action International (HAI) at 69th World Health Assembly, Agenda Item 16.2: Follow-up to the report of the Consultative Expert Working Group on Research and Development: Financing and Coordination - Report of the open-ended meeting of Member States.

KEI worked with HAI on the statement, and it was delivered by James Love

April 28, 2016 letter regarding US Senate Finance threats over compulsory license on Novartis cancer drug patents

Update: english translation of letter now available at end this blog.

April 27, 2016 Letter from Colombian Embassy regarding Senate Finance, USTR pressure on Novartis compulsory license

(More on Colombia here:

Updated to include English translation of letter. Note that KEI also has copy of the letter of April 28, 2016, reporting on the meeting with Eissenstat here.

Transparency of patents on medicines and other technologies

2016:1 KEI Briefing Note
Transparency of Patent Landscapes
April 25, 2016

At an April 12, 2016 WIPO seminar, Reed F. Beall and Amir Attaran presented a paper, “Patent-based Analysis of the World Health Organization’s 2013 Model List of Essential Medicines,” which includes the following odd comment:

2015 Oct 15 version: RCEP IP Chapter

Attached here (in docx format) is the October 15, 2015 version of the draft intellectual property right chapter for the proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

KEI comment on WIPO report on patents landscape for the WHO essential medicines list

This is a comment on the WIPO- commissioned report on the patent landscape for the WHO essential medicines list, published on April 11th, 2016. The report is titled: Patent-based Analysis of the World Health Organization’s 2013 Model List of Essential Medicines, by Reed F. Beall and Amir Attaran, both at the University of Ottawa, Canada. This is is the third collaboration between WIPO's Thomas (Tom) Bombelles (Head, Global Health, WIPO) and Attaran on the same topic -- the patenting of medicines in developing countries.

2016: KEI comments on NIH proposal for exclusive licenses for vitro diagnostics patents to AltraTech

Other KEI comments on NIH licenses are found here:

February 22, 2016

Patrick McCue, Ph.D.
Senior Licensing and Patenting Manager
Technology Advancement Office
The National Institutes of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
12A South Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892
via email:

Dear Dr. McCue:

Knowledge Ecology International joins amicus brief on non-copyrightability of model laws and statutes

Washington, DC — On January 11, 2016, Knowledge Ecology International joined Public Knowledge and the American Library Association in an amicus curiae brief that argued that the contents of model laws, once enacted into statute, cannot be protected by copyright. The brief was filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in the case of ASTM International v. Public.Resource.Org.

US ITC notice for public comment, Jan 13, 2016 hearing, and Commission report on the TransPacific Partnership Agreement (TPP)

Here is the US International Trade Commission (USITC) notice for the public hearing, public comments and Commission report on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). The deadlines and other requirements for participation may be strictly enforced. Note the ITC anticipates transmitting its report to the President and the Congress on May 18, 2016.

Letter from six NGOs to Obama on the WTO LDC patent waiver negotiation

Six NGOs — including Oxfam America, Health GAP, Knowledge Ecology International (KEI), the Union for Affordable Cancer Treatment (UACT), the Young Professionals Chronic Disease Network (YP-CDN), and Public Citizen — sent a letter to President Obama today asking him to publicly express the United States’ “full and unconditional support” for the waiver of World Trade Organization (WTO) drug patent rules for Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

Final draft, India National IPR Policy, by IP Think Tank constituted by DIPP, Ministry of Commerce and Industry

This is a copy of recommendations for an Indian National IPR Policy, written by the "IP Think Tank," which was constituted by the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion(DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India. A copy scanned from a hard copy is here.

The members of the IPR Think Tank were:

  • Justice Prabha Sridevan (Retd) - Chairperson
  • Mrs. Prathiba M. Singh, Senior Advocate - Member
  • Mr. Narendra K. Sabharwal - Member & Convener

Senator Bernie Sanders proposal to expand Veterans access to patented medical inventions

This is a video by Zack Struver about Senator Bernie Sander's proposal to expand Veterans access to patented medical inventions. The video discusses both the proposal by Senator Sanders to give the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs the authority to use compulsory licenses on patents on medical inventions, including drugs, and the history of "government use" provisions in current U.S. statutes, including 28 U.S.C. 1498, which Sanders proposes modifying.

IMS Health May 2015 comments on patient access to oncology drugs

IMS Health, the global information and technology services company, known for its statistics on sales of drugs, published a study in May 2015 that estimated the global market for oncology drugs now exceeds $100 billion per year.

KEI briefing note on the evolution of TPP negotiating text on patentable subject matter

The attached PDF file is a KEI briefing note on the evolution of certain sections of the TPP negotiating text on patents and patentable subject matter.

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