Intellectual property on essential medicines, vaccines and other health technologies affects us all. Where you live directly impacts on the likelihood of you accessing a life-saving vaccine or treatment.
Make Medicines Affordable has designed a toolkit, explaining what the intellectual property (IP) barriers are, what impact they have, and how to challenge them. It’s aimed at all civil society activists working on rights, justice and health.
The pharmaceutical industry conflates IP with innovation. Monopolies granted to corporations do not increase medical and scientific breakthroughs – it stifles it.
Public investment continues to support medical research – for example the AstraZeneca vaccine was 97-99% public funded. However, corporations are routinely granted monopolies that do not reflect the public investment that went into a vaccine or drug.
Using the current, flawed patent system to its financial advantage, the pharma industry, applies for multiple, overlapping patents. IP on essential medicines creates barriers to access, while a handful of CEOs and shareholders super rich.
Our toolkit, debunks myths and breaks down what you need to know: From the life-cycle of a drug; to the problem with patents; how to conduct a patent search; through to creating a strategy to overcome patent barriers and make medicines affordable.
We don’t believe that IP belongs on essential health technologies – Kondratyuk.
“The inequity in access to medicines is one of the major injustices of our current time. The current patent system enables the pharmaceutical industry to be most of the lucrative in the world. They achieve this through IP barriers and profiteering. We don’t believe that IP belongs on essential health technologies. That’s why our global partnership is working to restore medicines to a public good. Global, systemic changes are desperately needed, however, in the meantime country-level tools that can challenge IP barriers exist now – the pharma industry doesn’t want you to use them – but this toolkit shows you how,” says Sergey Kondratyuk, Make Medicines Affordable’s campaign manager.