A Report issued by the United Nations (UN) ‘High Level Panel on Access to Medicines’ has ignited concern at AusBiotech and throughout the global biotechnology community, prompting a statement from the International Council of Biotechnology Associations (ICBA), of which AusBiotech is a founding member.
Responding to the recent report from the UN’s panel, the ICBA, which was formed to advocate on public policies impacting the innovative biotechnology industry worldwide, said:
"As associations representing hundreds of small and medium sized companies around the world, in both developing and developed countries, we recognize the vital priority of improving access to medicines for all nations.”
It continued, "Access to medicines is a complex challenge for which there is not one single simple solution. Accordingly, by narrowly focusing its work on intellectual property rights, the UN High Level Panel on Access to Medicines’ report misses an important opportunity to drive a constructive and effective public dialogue in support of solutions for this global challenge. Importantly, the report does not recognize that a change to the intellectual property rules would have little impact on access as over 95% of the medicines on the WHO’s Essential Medicines List that are already off-patent.
“…we are concerned and disappointed with the limited focus and corresponding conclusions of the recently issues UN High Level Panel on Access to Medicines.
"Moreover, its focus on this one issue, and its specific recommendations to weaken intellectual property protections, will only serve to undermine the industry’s ability to conduct research, and develop new life-changing therapies and cures. Given the complexity of the challenge, effective solutions can only be achieved through the collaboration of all stakeholders and building on what has been shown to work.
"The global biotechnology industry is ready and willing to contribute to an open dialogue on the causes of and solutions to address the lack of access to medicines. The UN High Level Report missed an important and timely opportunity to identify the broad array of challenges and develop a collaborative and open process to bring solutions forward to improve access for all patients.
"Improved access to these medicines is a fundamental global challenge, and one which the industry, working with governments and other stakeholders around the world is committed to addressing."
The full statement can be found at the AusBiotech website.
The UN High Level Panel on Access to Medicines Report can be viewed online.
The ICBA is an international confederation of biotechnology trade associations, with membership across six continents, with the expressed purpose of advocating for public policies that support the global growth of the innovative biotechnology industry.
The ICBA, established in June 2014, is Chaired by Jim Greenwood, BIO’s President and Chief Executive Officer, with Nathalie Moll, Secretary General of EuropaBio, Vice Chair.
The ICBA includes:
AfricaBio - Africa
ASSOBIOTEC - Italy
Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises - India
AusBiotech - Australia
Belgian Biotech Association - Belgium
BIO Deutschland - Germany
BioIndustry Association - United Kingdom
BIOTECanada - Canada
Biotechnology Industry Organization - United States of America
EuropaBio - Europe
Foro Argentino de Biotecnologia - Argentina
German Association of Biotechnology Industries - Germany
HollandBIO - Netherlands
Hungarian Biotech Association - Hungary
Japan Bioindustry Association - Japan
Norwegian Bioindustry Association - Norway
PeruBiotech - Peru
Portugal’s Biotechnology Industry Organization - Portugal
Spanish Bioindustry Association - Spain
Swiss Biotech Association - Switzerland