The following are comments by the Union for Affordable Cancer Treatment (UACT) on the HHS Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Costs, in response to the notice published in the Federal Register, 83 FR 22692. Element II.B. of the notice asks, “What policies should the U.S. government pursue in order to protect IP rights and address concerns around compulsory licensing” in OECD countries, which “are not paying an appropriate share of the necessary research and development to bring innovative drugs to the market and are instead freeriding off U.S. consumers and taxpayers.” 1. UACT rejects the premise put forth by the Blueprint thatRead More →

The Union for Affordable Cancer Treatment (UACT) welcomes the news that a Russian court has approved a compulsory license for patents held by Celgene for the cancer drug lenalidomide, marketed in many countries under the trade name Revlimid. Compulsory licenses on patents can promote health and protect the interests of cancer patients when there is excessive pricing and other abuses of a legal monopoly. Since entering the market, Revlimid has generated more than $46 billion in sales for Celgene, including $2.3 billion in the first three months of 2018. In the United States, Celgene still claims the drug is protected by 26 patented inventions andRead More →

On June 8, 2018 Miroslav Lajčák (Slovak Republic), President of the United Nations General Assembly circulated the zero-draft of the Political Declaration of the third high-level meeting of the General Assembly on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Italy (Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi) and Uruguay (Ambassador Elbio Rosselli) have served as the co-facilitators of this negotiation. The zero draft is the initial negotiating text framing the UN’s response to addressing the public health crisis of NCDs globally. Analogous to the high-level process for tuberculosis, this text will be the subject of intense negotiations with countries adding and deleting text over the next four weeks.Read More →

On March 12, 2018, UACT joined 15 other organizations in the United States and Korea in a letter to the United States Trade Representative, urging the administration to ignore the wishes of pharmaceutical lobbyists and to not interfere with patient access to medicines in Korea. Recently, Korea has passed legislation aimed at lowering drug prices and increasing the government’s negotiating power. Pharmaceutical corporations have taken notice, and through the industry lobbyist group PhRMA (Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America), have pressured the U.S. government to retaliate against the country in trade negotiations. In its submission to the USTR’s yearly “Special 301” review of intellectual property protection in otherRead More →

On March 9, 2018, the Chile Ministry of Health issued two documents outlining its decision to recommend a compulsory license on hepatitis C virus (HCV) drug patents. The hepatitis C virus can lead to cancer of the liver and other serious and life threatening health issues. The new drugs to treat HCV are effective for many patients, but in many countries are so expensive that access is limited. When patent barriers are overcome, affordable generic versions of the drugs are available, and treatment access is dramatically improved. Dr. Gilberto Lopes, a member of UACT and also of the UACT Expert Advisory Board offered this statementRead More →