Bracing response –

from Oxfam to our November 28th Trade Fact (at http://progressive-economy.org/india-has-invalidated-rejected-or-otherwise-compromised-five-cancer-medicine-patents-this-year/) on patents from Oxfam:

“We do not believe there was ever a global consensus in support of the intellectual property (IP) approach promoted by USTR, as implied in your article. The TRIPS Agreement sets out minimum standards for IP protection, and explicitly includes a series of exceptions and limitations to IP rights that may be used by governments in order to achieve public policy objectives, including improvement of health outcomes. We have long been puzzled by efforts to portray compulsory licensing as a legal tool that may only be used during health “crises” or “emergencies”. Put simply, this interpretation is unsupported by the text of the Agreement itself. Similarly, the Doha Declaration confirms the right of countries to use all IP flexibilities in TRIPS “especially” – not “only” – in relation to health emergencies and pandemics.”

Note: P.E. welcomes good-faith critiques and alternative perspectives on the topics we address, and publishes them on an ‘as-appropriate’ basis. We stand by our work, but also appreciate Oxfam’s interest in it and are pleased to publish their response.

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