There is a new book and website that illustrate the impact of intellectual property (IP) on access to medicines, launched today by Health Action International in collaboration with public health advocate and HAI member, Ellen ’t Hoen.
In her book, “Private Patents and Public Health: Changing intellectual property rules for access to medicines“, Ellen chronicles parallel developments in global health and international patent laws. She warns that trends in international IP law are hindering many of the policy tools that were successfully used to scale up antiretroviral treatment during the HIV/AIDS crisis of the late 1990s. To avoid a similar access to medicines crisis, she offers numerous solutions to restore balance in the current biomedical R&D system.
The new website, meanwhile, incorporates simplified content from the book, along with infographics that can be easily shared via Twitter and Facebook. The main purpose of the site is to provide those who are new to the access to medicines field with a basic level of knowledge about the relationship between IP and access to medicines; however, experienced advocates, policy-makers, consumers and journalists may also find it useful given that it provides more in-depth analyses into key IP issues, as well as infographics and links to resources that are relevant to their work.
We invite you to share the website’s information and infographics widely on social media—for advocates to incorporate the materials into your own campaigns, for policy-makers to use it as a vital source of information to inform your policy decisions, and for consumers and journalists to become more aware of the impact of IP on access to medicines.
Ellen’s book is available, free of charge, on the new website.by