Senate HELP Committee proposes evaluation of Innovation Inducement Prizes, as alternative to product monopolies

In the United States Senate, the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) is trying to move forward a bill titled the “Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act.” Among other things, the bill would “amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to revise and extend the user-fee programs for prescription drugs and medical devices, establish user-fee programs for generic drugs and biosimilars,” and address a number of other topics, such as extend the legal monopoly on antibiotic drugs by 5 years. Continue Reading

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5 April 2012: World Health Organization’s Consultative Expert Working Group on R&D Financing releases its Report

On Thursday, 5 April 2012, the World Health Organization released the report of the Report of the Consultative Expert Working Group on Research and Development: Financing and Coordination entitled “Research and Development to Meet Health Needs in Developing Countries: Strengthening Global Financing and Coordination”. The 218 page report will take some time to fully assess.

The report can be found here: http://www.who.int/phi/CEWG_Report_5_April_2012.pdf

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Senator Harkin (D-IA) sends letter to President Obama supporting a WIPO treaty for the visually impaired

On Friday, March 30, 2012, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee sent a letter to President Obama supporting an international treaty for persons who are visually impaired or have other disabilities. The letter urges the Obama administration to achieve several goals in such a treaty, including robust minimum standards that do not diminish the rights provided for under U.S. Continue Reading