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Public health, innovation and intellectual property rights

Author: Commission on Intellectual Property Rights, Innovation & Public Health, World Health Organization (WHO), Published on: 1 April 2006

Developing countries are...largely dependent on the products of innovation designed principally to meet the health-care needs of developed countries. In some cases these products meet their needs...but in others, no treatments are available for prevalent diseases or are not adapted to the special conditions relating to delivery and compliance in developing countries. Also existing medicines, whether patented or not, are often too costly in the poorest settings... [Recommendations include:] The pharmaceutical industry should continue to cooperate with public–private partnerships and increase contributions to their activities... All companies should adopt transparent and consistent pricing policies, and should work towards reducing prices on a more consistent basis for low and lower middle income developing countries. Products...should be priced equitably, not just in sub-Saharan Africa and least developed countries, but also in low and lower middle income countries where there are a vast number of poor patients. [refers to donation programmes involving Merck, GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi-Pasteur (part of Sanofi-Aventis), Pfizer, Novartis, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Boehringer Ingelheim, Roche, Abbott Laboratories, Gilead Sciences; patenting policies of Roche, Bristol-Myers Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline; other public-private partnerships involving GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, AstraZeneca, Ranbaxy; also refers to Bayer, Johnson & Johnson]

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Related companies: Abbott Laboratories AstraZeneca Bayer Boehringer Ingelheim Bristol-Myers Squibb Gilead Sciences GlaxoSmithKline Johnson & Johnson Merck Novartis Pfizer Ranbaxy Laboratories Roche Sanofi Sanofi Pasteur (part of Sanofi)