Health Action International (HAI) has launched a new book and website highlighting the impact of the current patent system on access to medicines and encouraging governments to use flexibilities in the IP system.
The book, Private Patents and Public Health: Changing Intellectual Property Rules for Access to Medicines by Ellen ‘t Hoen, describes the interrelation international patent laws creating pharmaceutical monopolies and the high prices of essential medicines, as for example for hepatitis C, cancer and tuberculosis. Ms ‘t Hoen calls for bold action by the governments to restore the balance in the patent system by using a range of policy tools, which have proven successful in the past to improve affordable access to HIV/AIDS treatment.
In addition to the book, HAI also launched the website www.accesstomedicines.org that presents the relationship between IP and access to medicines through several infographics and resources. The websites also addresses common misconceptions about compulsory licences and the actual cost of R&D.