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A public health perspective of Intellectual Property Rights is essentially based upon the premise that medical products and health technologies shall not be considered as simple objects of trade as their production, distribution and trade constitute key factors in the pr- otection and promotion of the public health of populations region-wide as acknowledged by PAHO resolution CD45.R7 Access to Essential Medicines when it requested States:
 e) apply in the Region of the Americas resolution WHA57.14 of the 57th World Health Assembly, specifically to adapt national legislation in order to maximize the flexibilities foreseen in the Trade Related Intellectual Property rights (TRIPS) agreement, from the World Trade Organization, and promote that bilateral trade agreements take into account the Doha Ministerial Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health;

The Public Health Perspective of Management of Intellectual Property Rights can be understood as the set of measures, actions and collaborations that originating from the health sector can facilitate access without constituting an obstacle to innovation. Taking properly into account eventual health implications of changes and amendments both in policy and legal frameworks of protection of intellectual property rights; including the use of flexibilities and regulatory exceptions.

The Medicines and Health Technologies (MT) unit at the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) seeks to support, within the framework of resolutions and decisions approved and endorsed by the governing bodies of both the World Health Organization and PAHO, the countries in the Region to advance towards and consolidate an integrated management of the life cycle of medicines and other health technologies (Discovery + Development + Delivery) which would pay special attention to both the needs of a safe access to medical products of proven quality and the available opportunities and existing instruments in other fields public policy, whether they are related to trade, industry or science. The ultimate goal being the promotion of an innovation that meets the health needs of the peoples of the Americas. Taking into account the provisions in Resolution CD47R7 Public Health, health research, production of essential drugs and access to essential medicines when demanded from Member States to:

b) make efforts to ensure adequate incentives for research and development of treatments for neglected or very neglected diseases;
c) formulate policies to prioritize health and facilitate the production, purchase, distribution and quality control of essential medicines

Technical cooperation offered by PAHO in the management of intellectual property rights is expressed mainly through two routes, differentiated but coherent;
On one hand it is expected from the organization

to provide, as appropriate and when requested, in collaboration with other competing international organizations, technical and policy support to countries wishing to use the flexibilities provided on the Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights Agreement and other international agreements, in order to promote access to pharmaceutical products and implement the Doha Ministerial Declaration related to the TRIPS agreement and Public Health and other WTO instruments; WHA 60.30 Public health, innovation and intellectual property

This technical cooperation is primarily embodied by institutional support in reform processes, training and capacity building of health professionals and distribution / dissemination of materials.
In simultaneous fulfillment of Resolution WHA 55.14 Ensuring accessibility of essential medicines.

(6 ) to pursue all diplomatic and political opportunities aimed at overcoming barriers to access to essential medicines, collaborating with Member States in order to make these medicines accessible and affordable to the people who need them;
(7) to join with and support nongovernmental organizations in the process of implementing initiatives that are compatible with public health priorities.

At the same time the consolidation of a public health perspective management of Intellectual Property Rights constitutes, together with the promotion and improvement of access and the support an innovation that obeys to the health priorities of the countries of the Region, one of the three implementation axes of the Global Strategy and Plan of Action on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property (WHA.61.21) in the Americas, through the Regional Perspective (CD.48R15). In this context, PAHO has sought to link the opportunities for innovation with necessities of access through an interpretation consistent with the promotion and protection of public health and national and regional health priorities, within a framework of shared responsibility between State and external actors.


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Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 December 2011 08:35

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