south-north development monitor - SUNS [Email Edition]

SUNS #4403
Friday, 26 March 1998


Health: NGOs denounce pressures against compulsory licensing (Chakravarthi Raghavan, Geneva)

Asia: New builders for new financial architecture (IPS, Bangkok)

Nepal: World Bank conditions for energy fund resented (IPS, Kathmandu)

Jamaica: Milk industry suffering from dumping (IPS, Kingston)

Health: New concerns over widely-used chemicals (IPS, Washington)

United Nations: Women want Vatican out (IPS, New York)

Chile: Everyone a winner with Pinochet verdict! (IPS, Santiago)

United States: May still seek Pinochet extradition (IPS, Washington)

Excerpts from some selected articles:

Health: NGOs denounce pressures against compulsory licensing

Geneva, 25 Mar (Chakravarthi Raghavan) -- Leading health and consumer protection NGOs like Medicins Sans Frontieres, Health Action International and the US-based Consumer Project on Technology denounced Thursday pressures and threats by the US and other Northern governments against developing countries use of their compulsory licensing rights to ensure access of their peoples to cheap and essential medicines.

This issue of compulsory licensing is now the subject of trade disputes involving the United States, Thailand, South Africa and other countries. The NGO representatives were addressing a press conference on the eve of a meeting sponsored by them at which public health and consumer groups, governments of industrialized and developing countries, pharmaceutical companies and international organizations like the WTO, WIPO and WHO officials, are to discuss the issues of compulsory licensing of patents to essential medical technologies.

James Love, Director of the Consumer Project on Technology (CPT), said developing countries had some space under the WTO-Trips agreement, to use the power of compulsory licensing to enable generic drugs to be produced and available to their peoples at cheap rates. It was inacceptable that the US government should pursue narrow interests of some corporations in trying to force governments such as those of Thailand or South Africa not to use compulsory licensing.


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