International conference on pharmaceuticals and global intellectual property rights

14 July 2010

The access and affordability of pharmaceutical drugs and the effect changes in intellectual property rights are having on the production of medicines in developing and emerging economies are the key topics at a conference in India later this year.

The Pharmaceuticals in Developing and Emerging Economies: Production, Innovation, and Access to Medicines in the Wake of TRIPS conference is sponsored by Deakin University and the University of Hyderabad and will feature a range of international experts.

Dr Hans Lofgren from Deakin University is an expert on the politics and economics of pharmaceuticals and is co-chair of the conference. He said the impact of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights – or TRIPS – agreement on pharmaceutical industries in developing and emerging countries was only just being felt.

“Pharmaceutical manufacturing and access to affordable medicine in India and across developing countries are areas that have been rapidly changing over the past decade as a result of the TRIPS agreement put in place by the World Trade Organization,” Dr Lofgren said.

“The impact of TRIPS on these areas has only recently started to become apparent. The goal of this conference is to provide an assessment of the state of pharmaceutical manufacturing capabilities in these countries as well as access to affordable medicines.

“The intention of TRIPS was not only to protect the interests of drug manufacturers, but to advance the transfer of knowledge and technology for the benefit of developing and emerging economies. At the moment, though, it isn’t clear that the overall gap in the global pharmaceutical industry between developed and developing countries has been reduced.”

Organisers say the conference will provide a unique opportunity for researchers, policy makers, public health advocates, and industry representatives to deliberate on the economics and politics of the pharmaceutical industry and access to medicines, across the developing and emerging economies.

The conference is to be held at the University of Hyderabad in India and will run from Friday 17 September to Sunday 19 September. Keynote speakers at the conference are:

  • Ellen ‘t Hoen, Senior Adviser for Intellectual Property and Medicines Patent Pool at UNITAID, Switzerland.
  • Professor D Balasubramanian, Director of Research at L. V. Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad, India.
  • Professor P M Bhargava, the founding director of the renowned Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad.
  • Dr Mira Shiva, Coordinator of the Initiative for Health and Equity in Society and Founder Coordinator of the All India Drug Action Network.
News facts
  • Conference to look at pharmaceutical drug access and manufacturing in developing and emerging economies
  • Sponsored by Deakin University and the University of Hyderabad, India

Media contact

Vanessa Barber
Deakin Media Relations
03 5227 1301; 0488 292 644

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15th July 2010