Access to Health

SouthViews No. 156, 26 October 2017

Intellectual Property for the TwentyFirst-Century Economy

By Joseph E. Stiglitz , Dean Baker , Arjun Jayadev

Developing countries are increasingly pushing back against the intellectual property regime foisted on them by the advanced economies over the last 30 years. They are right to do so, because what matters is not only the production of knowledge, but also that it is used in ways that put the health and wellbeing of people ahead of corporate profits. (more…)

SouthViews No. 147, 20 April 2017

Reflections on World Health Day

By Martin Khor

What’s the most precious thing in the world which unfortunately we take for granted and realise it true value when it is impaired? Good health, of course. That’s something many people must have reminded themselves as they celebrated World Health Day on 7 April. Attaining good health and well-being may be a top priority goal, but achieving it is elusive for almost everyone, and next to impossible for the poor. (more…)

SouthViews No. 145, 28 February 2017

Avoid patent clauses in trade treaties that can kill millions

By Martin Khor

A recent article in a prestigious journal reminds us of how the intellectual property chapter of free trade agreements can prevent the sick from getting treatment. This article also critiques the TPP clauses and warns that they should not be translated to national laws or copied into other FTAs being negotiated. (more…)

SouthViews No. 138, 2 December 2016

On World AIDS Day, threat to access to medicines looms large

By Shailly Gupta

Today millions of people living with HIV in South-East Asia are receiving treatment and leading healthy lives thanks to affordable generic antiretroviral (ARVs) medicines. Governments and treatment providers across Asia, such as the government of Indonesia and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), patients across our missions in many countries, depend on an uninterrupted supply of affordable generic HIV medicines to reduce new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths in the region. But as the trade negotiators from 16 countries gather in Indonesia next week to deliberate the terms of a trade agreement — the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement (RCEP), access to low-cost generic medicines is under grave threat. (more…)

SouthViews No. 135, 17 November 2016

Actions Needed Urgently to Tackle Air Pollution – Part 2

By Martin Khor

Actions are urgently needed to curb air pollution, which has emerged as the biggest threat to health and the environment, and they need to be taken at global and national levels. (This is the second of two articles on air pollution.) This article was published by Inter Press Service (IPS) on 14 November 2016. (more…)

SouthViews No. 134, 16 November 2016

Air Pollution Emerges as a Top Killer Globally – Part 1

By Martin Khor

New research is showing that air pollution is a powerful if silent killer, causing 6.5 million worldwide deaths as well as being the major cause of climate change. Air pollution has emerged as a leading cause of deaths and serious ailments in the world. Emissions that cause air pollution and are Greenhouse Gases are also the main factor causing climate change. Therefore, drastically reducing air pollution should now be treated as a top priority. (more…)

SouthViews No. 129, 11 August 2016

Uruguay’s victory over Philip Morris: a win for tobacco control and public health

By Germán Velásquez

In a landmark decision that has been hailed as a victory of public health measures against narrow commercial interests, an international tribunal has dismissed a claim by tobacco giant company Philip Morris that the Uruguay government violated its rights by instituting tobacco control measures. The ruling had been much anticipated as it was the first international case brought against a government for taking measures to curb the marketing of tobacco products. (more…)

SouthViews No. 121, 12 November 2015

The grant of patents and the exorbitant cost of “lifesaving” drugs

By Germán Velásquez

The important relationship between the examination of patents carried out by national patent offices and the right of citizens to access to medicines hasn’t always been well understood. Too often these are viewed as unrelated functions or responsibilities of the state. And the reason is clear: patentability requirements are not defined by patent offices, but frequently by the courts, tribunals, legislation or treaty negotiators. This is the case when patent policy is implemented in isolation from, rather than guided by, public health policy. (more…)

SouthViews No. 103, 8 April 2014

A matter of life and death

By Martin Khor

Of all the issues currently being negotiated on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, none are more important than the ability of patients to get life-saving medicines at affordable prices, which many fear may be a victim of the agreement. (more…)

SouthViews No. 51, 13 December 2012

India prepares to supply free generic medicines

By Zofeen Ebrahim

As the northern Indian state of Rajasthan rolls out an ambitious universal healthcare plan, the discontent of the state’s doctors stands in stark contrast to the joys of the 68 million people who will benefit from the scheme.

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SouthViews No. 42, 12 November 2012

A resolution by the World Health Assembly: Will there finally be a cure for diseases that affect the poor?

By Carlos Correa

On 26 May 2012 the World Health Assembly adopted a resolution that could mark the first step toward a change in the current pharmaceutical research model. The members of the World Health Organization (WHO) decided to undertake an in-depth examination, at the governmental level, of a report produced in April 2012 by an international group of experts that recommended the adoption of a binding convention on research and development (R&D) that, if approved and implemented, could generate the medicines needed, particularly in developing countries, to address communicable and non-communicable diseases.

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