Debate over patent systems underscores Coalition concerns
6th June 2008
Last month's World Health Assembly found itself at the centre of a growing debate over the role of global patent systems in determining access to essential drugs and supplies, especially in the developing world. The debate, which inspired a recent opinion piece in the International Herald Tribune, is also drawing attention to some of the Coalition's core concerns. The article's author, Benedetto Della Vedova, cites Kevin De Cock, Director of WHO's HIV division, who highlights "the fragility of health systems... health infrastructure that is dilapidated, and supply chains that don't exist."
The article also reiterates a key argument of the MDA Working Group, specifically the need to consider "education, distance, culture, and other factors that affect ... demand". And, finally, regardless of one's stance in the debate, the article sets forth what our RMA colleagues often refer to as advocacy "asks". Full text of the article is available here. Rebuttals are available here.