MSF writes to the EU

One of the things we’re interested in here in Manchester is the problem of how to reconcile the need to incentivise and reward research in the medical sector with the palpable need in the developing world for affordable medicines.  This quandry is at the heart of the Manchester Manifesto.

A lot of emphasis has been placed on the role of generic medicines in health provision.  Generics are viewed with suspicion by many policymakers in the West, because they can (and sometimes do) violate the IP monopolies of the pharma companies; and protection of IP is a condition of membership of the WTO.  (This also means that developing nations that want to join the WTO find themselves at risk of having to sacrifice affordable drugs in the immediate term for the sake of economic activity in the medium-to-long term.)

Neverthless, MSF is appealing to the EU to ease the restrictions on generic medicines.  It has provided a draft letter articulating this appeal that you can sign (and alter if you want) and send, via the MSF website to Commissioner Karel De Gucht.  It’s available here.

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