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U.N. High-Level Panel On Access To Medicines Report Supports Compulsory Licensing For Life-Saving Drugs, More Government-Funded R&D

Financial Times: Poorer countries need rapid access to generic drugs, U.N. says
“Poorer countries struggling to afford expensive life-altering drugs should be allowed to override pharmaceutical patents so they can access a cheaper supply of generic drugs, according to a U.N. report published on Wednesday. … According to a much-awaited report from the U.N. High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines, countries that are struggling to afford drugs should instead be able to unilaterally issue ‘compulsory licenses’ that would allow them to quickly access a generic supply without the branded drugmaker’s permission…” (Crow, 9/14).

The Guardian: U.N. calls on big pharma to reduce cost of life-saving medicines
“A United Nations High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines has called for major changes to the way in which research and development (R&D) of life-saving medicines is funded in order to make them more affordable for patients around the world and fight neglected diseases. The report from the panel, established by the U.N. secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, warns that ‘it is imperative that governments increase their current levels of investment in health technology innovation’ in order to provide ‘fair rewards for the inventors while ensuring that prices remain fair and affordable’…” (Grant, 9/14).

Reuters: U.N. panel challenges market-based approach to drug R&D
“…The final report, issued on Wednesday, calls for a de-linkage of R&D costs and drug prices — at least in areas where the system is failing, such as tropical diseases and the hunt for new antibiotics against ‘superbug’ resistant bacteria. It urges the U.N. secretary general to start a process for governments to negotiate global agreements on the coordination, financing, and development of priority research programs…” (Hirschler, 9/14).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.