The Associated Press recently released a chart from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Office of the Actuary that outlines spending for the top 20 costliest drugs to Medicare in 2015 after reaching Medicare’s catastrophic spending threshold: http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2016/07/25/us/ap-us-medicare-pricey-drugs-glance.html.
UPDATE: The AP also released another story, on July 24, 2016, outlining the overall program costs of catastrophic spending and explaining various spending increases: http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2016/07/24/us/politics/ap-us-medicare-pricey-drugs.html.
20 July 2016
For Immediate Release
Knowledge Ecology International: Zack Struver, email@example.com, +1 (202) 332-2670
Public Citizen: Peter Maybarduk, firstname.lastname@example.org, +1 (202) 588-7755
Public Health, Human Rights, and Faith Organizations Question State Department Pressure Against Global Access to Medicines Initiatives
Evidence shows pattern of interference in national and international efforts to improve access to affordable medicines, according to Doctors Without Borders (MSF USA), Knowledge Ecology International, Public Citizen, Oxfam, and other leading public interest groups.
Washington, DC — More than 50 public interest organizations and experts asked Secretary of State John Kerry today to explain evidence that the State Department recently pressured the United Nations and the governments of Colombia and India against taking action to improve access to affordable medicines, citing U.S. business interests and implying that relations with Washington would suffer.
On 30 June 2016, the 24th session of the WIPO Standing Committee on the Law of Patents (SCP) agreed to an ambitious work program on patents and health, exceptions and limitations to patent rights, quality of patents, transfer of technology and confidentiality of communications between clients and their patent advisors.
On patents and health, the Committee agreed to the following:
On June 30, 2016, the WIPO Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled received its 20th ratification, from Canada, and this will bring the Treaty into force September 30, 2016. The WIPO announcement was here. WIPO Director General Francis Gurry made a statement about the Marrakesh Treaty’s imminent entry into force in the video below:
*(The author thanks Mirza Alas and Alexandre Gajardo for their notes of the 2nd round of informal consultations held on 22 June 2016 and Sophia Simon for transcribing the statements delegations made during the plenary discussions held on 1 July 2016.)