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:   Michael Michener

VP, Product Policy and Innovation & Acting Program/Policy Co-Lead
Tel: 202.617.3159

Michael Michener is USCIB’s vice president of product policy and innovation, joining USCIB in early 2017. Michener is a former administrator of the U.S. Foreign Agricultural Service who has also served as a U.S. trade diplomat and association executive. Michener most recently served in Brussels as director of multilateral relations for CropLife International, representing the association before a range of international organizations – including the UN Food and Agricultural Organization, the UN Environment Program and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change – on issues related to crop protection products and agriculture biotechnology.
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