The WHO IGWG drafting group meeting in Salle XXIII of the Palais des Nations during this week’s World Health Assembly is charged with hammering out a consensus global strategy that would inter alia, secure
an enhanced and sustainable basis for needs-driven, essential health research and development relevant to diseases that disproportinately affect developing countries, proposing clear objectives and priorities for research and development, and estimating funding needs in in this area.
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.
During the IGWG, BIO, the trade association, a group not yet in official relations with the WHO, was given the right to place four persons inside the closed drafting sessions. One of them was Jon Santamauro, who until recently was a US trade official on intellectual property issues.
“Mr. Santamauro has more than 15 years of experience handling intellectual property issues for the U.S. Government.”