03.04.05

Changing rules of patents

Posted in NITC, Society at 12:49 pm by Pirate Praveen

Yesterday we had a very interesting and important talk by Dr. K.P. Aravindan of Calicut Medical College who is an activist of kssp. He talked about various issues regarding the proposed patent law brought out as an ordinance. He started with the historical developments in the filed and talked about the the Paris Convention and the GATTS (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) and the TRIPS (Trade related Intellectual Property rights) …. Only the elites of this country benefit from Globalisation and we, lucky to be in the elite, should rebel against it and make the benefits available to the masses of this country.

Global Campaign against Indian Patents Amendment (GCAIPA) is a forum to co-ordinate the actions against the Patents amendment bill globally.
Feb 26 was Global Day of Action against the Patents amendment bill.

I’ll quote from Doha decalration [every few years the commercial ministers of WTO meet and discuss various issues and this time Muraisoli Maran represented India and with Brazil and China we were able to resist the buldozing of the west and pass something called TRIPS flexibilities — TRIPS is Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights — Patents come under trips]

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” We recognise the gravity of the public health problems affecting many developing countries and least developed countries particularly those suffering from HIV / AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other epidemics”

“We agree that the TRIPS agreement does not and should not prevent members from taking measures to protect public health. Accordingly, while reiterating our commintment to the TRIPS Agreement, we affirm that the agreement can and should be interpreted and implimented in a manner supportive of WTO members, right to protect public health and in particular, to promote access to medicines for all. In this connection, we reaffirm the right of WTO members to use, to the full, the provitions in the TRIPS agreement which provide flexibility for this purpose”

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This ordinace does not take care of these things and try to become ‘loyal than the king’ by making the patent time increased from 7 to 20 years and changing the nature of patents from process patent to product patent. We had a great advantage in pharmaseutiacl industry because of the process patent. Process patent allows us to produce the same drugs patented by foriegn companies cheaper using different process (process patent only restricts production by the same process as the patented one). This made the drug prices dramatically lower than the prices in US or Europe ( See the comparison http://www.livejournal.com/users/pravi/11432.html )

Now we are losing that advatage and the prices of drugs is going to rise dramatically higher even 10 to 15 times !! The medicines will not be available to the poor masses and only available to the elite class. In effect the government is selling the crores of people to this giant companies. We should all stand up against it and say ‘foul’ and make sure all the concerns are taken care of when it comes to the parliment for discussion.

1. The ordinance should be immediately withdrawn and only made a law after taking care of all our concerns and protecting the public interest of our country.

2. Drugs, Food and Chemicals should continue to have process patent

3. The TRIPS PLUS (granting more than what they asked for) conditions should be withdrawn and all the options to use the TRIPS flexibilities should be taken care of. The national interest should be generously take care of.

4. In the next WTO meet India should ask for the proposed TRIPS review (It was proposed to be there in 2000). And assert the world that we would not take any decision before the review.

Life or death should not be given as a chance to earn profit. We should protect all life sciences from patents.

In his talk he quoted an example of a health programme by South African Government. They planned to give HIV / AIDS antiritoviral drugs to all the affected patients. An
Indian company Sipla came forward and offered to supply it at 1 $ when Glasco offered the same for 150 $ !!! They filed a case agaist Sipla. These MNCs don’t care if so many people die, they just care about the profit they are gonna make.

The evils of WTO agreement is very evident from the price of drugs in India and Pakistan [Pakistan signed it long back and appreoved product patent and now they have to pay very much higher prices for it — see the comparison]

CIPROFLOXACIN (500mg * 10 No.) costs Rs. 29 in India and Rs. 424 in Pakistan

DICHLOPHENAC (50mg * 10 No.) costs Rs. 4 in India and Rs. 85 in Pakistan

RANITIDINE (150mg * 10 No.) costs Rs. 6 in India and Rs. 74 in Pakistan

So it is obvious that the medicines will not be affordable to common man any more.

We should really distinguish between inventions and discoveries. Inventions creates new products while dicovery is finding out things already existing. All life forms exist in nature [whether you believe in Darwin or believe that God created it exists.] Man only finding this out and using this knowledge. So the patending of the knowledge should be oppesed. This new amendment even has provisions to patent animals and plants !!!

When deciding on rewarding someone for intellectual contribution we should give equal weightage for public interest and profit.[It was proposed by UNCTD or. U NITED N ATIONS C ONFERENCE ON T RADE AND D EVELOPMENT (UNCTAD) ] Now only the latter is taken care of while forgetting the former.

Note: Earlier I had reported a blog by sandeep on the changing patend law [ see here ]

He reported an article from bbc Brazil to break Aids drug patents.

This is another story reported by sandeep Half of all U.S. bankruptcies are caused by medical bills [See what msnbc says ]

See the google search for it

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