Combating fake medicines: health, IP and global politics
2 Lord North Street, Westminster, London, SW1P 3LB
Counterfeit and substandard medicines continue to kill thousands of people every year, particularly in the poorest parts of the world. These dodgy drugs not only hurt sick people directly, but also encourage the emergence of drug-resistant strains of disease.
In theory, the health community –from government to drugs manufacturers – should be united in tackling this global menace.
In recent months, however, concerted global action has been blown off-course by the issue of intellectual property rights. Some activist groups have accused the R&D-based pharmaceutical industry of using anti-counterfeiting measures as a cover for furthering their patent rights. The Indian generic drugs industry, meanwhile, claims that counterfeit medicines and intellectual property (particularly trademarks) are two completely separate issues.
Is it true that intellectual property is irrelevant to combating the scourge of fake drugs? Are trademarks a help or a hindrance? How can technology help consumers ascertain whether their medicines are genuine?
Please join us for what promises to be a fascinating discussion with some of the world’s leading experts on counterfeit medicines.
Dr Paul Newton is an infectious diseases doctor from Oxford University. He is based in Laos, heading the Wellcome Trust-Mahosot Hospital-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Collaboration, and was lead researcher for several peer-reviewed surveys of counterfeit drug levels in south eastern Asia.
Dr Roger Bate is author of Making a Killing: The Deadly Implications of the Counterfeit Drug Trade. A Legatum Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, he has commented on counterfeit drugs in publications such as the Wall Street Journal.
Bright B. Simons is the Director of Development Research at IMANI, and the Coordinator of the mPedigree Network, a mobile supply chain standards developer. These duties have led to numerous quotations in the international press, ranging from opinions in the Economist, New York Times and Asian Times to appearances on the BBC. In 2009, he joined the World Economic Forum's Technology Pioneer Community at Davos. Bright is a TED and Ashoka Fellow and a member of the Evian Group.
Julian Harris is a Research Fellow at International Policy Network, and co-author of Keeping it Real: combating the spread of fake drugs in poor countries. He has commented on fake medicines issues in publications such as The Times, The Australian, Business Day and South China Morning Post.