UN Report on Generic Drugs Disappoints Business Community

health_care_globe_lo-resA recent report published by the United Nations argues that low-income countries should be allowed to override pharmaceuticals patents so they can access a cheaper supply of generic drugs.

The U.S. Department of State issued a press release expressing disappointment with the report and arguing that intellectual property rights in the pharmaceutical industry are essential to medical innovation, which is fundamental to promoting global health.

“We believe that we can both increase access to medicines and support innovation for the development of new and improved drugs for the world’s most critical health challenges,” the statement said. “Indeed, there can be no access to drugs that have not been developed: support for innovation is essential.”

USCIB echoes these remarks and believes that increasing access to life-saving medicines is a complex matter, and countries have a wide array of policies and actions that may be appropriate in promoting the progressive realization of the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical health.

“Robust intellectual property rights support the development of innovative new treatments and drugs,” said Peter Robinson, USCIB president and CEO. “We’re disappointed that this new report fails to recognize the role intellectual property rights plays, and we remain committed to advancing access to new medicines while also fostering innovation and investment.”


Staff Contact:   Brian Lowry

Senior VP, Innovation, Regulation, and Trade
Tel: 202.617.3159

Brian Lowry leads USCIB’s policy work on trade, health, food, agriculture, chemicals, and intellectual property. He also coordinates USCIB’s engagement in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. Lowry joined USCIB in February 2021 having previously worked as an executive in the agriculture and crop science industry. Through his role as an executive, Lowry was also a longtime USCIB corporate member leader, as well as co-chair of USCIB’s working group on the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Post-2015 Development Agenda. Lowry was also the first board chair of the UN Global Compact Network USA.
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