On Tuesday 2nd October MSF launched an online resource to help civil society groups and patient groups in developing countries to challenge unwarranted drug patents through patent oppositions.  

Richard Bergström, Director General of EFPIA stated: “The pharmaceutical industry needs a patent system that grants patents of the highest quality and oppositions are part of that system. It is also important that the IP system as a whole supports both major breakthroughs and incremental advances. As much as challenging patents is normal, the revocation of patents that have been granted will hopefully be exceptions to the rule. Any measures to revoke a patent should be based on robust assessment against accepted patentability criteria ”

In the longer-term, an important debate that MSF and other parts of civil society will need to engage in is how to address the fundamental issues of access. How is it that in India, a G20 country, the majority of Indians still do not have access to basic medication? This is not a patent problem- it is one of insufficient allocation of healthcare funds in these countries. The industry is committed in principle and practice to working with Governments to identify differential pricing models which align prices with ability to pay. The development of these models offers a sustainable way of funding research and expanding access, but has to be balanced with action from governments to expand access to healthcare.

Contact
 
Richard Bergström, Tel: (+32) 2 626 25 55
E-mail: newsroom@efpia.org  
 
Useful links
 
About EFPIA:
 
EFPIA represents the pharmaceutical industry operating in Europe. Through its direct membership of 33 national associations and 35 leading pharmaceutical companies, EFPIA provides the voice of 1,900 companies committed to researching, developing and bringing new medicines to improve health and quality of life around the world. 
 
EFPIA members are committed to delivering innovative medicines to address unmet needs of patients and reducing the burden of chronic diseases for Europe’s ageing population. EFPIA believes in close cooperation with its stakeholders to help create sustainable healthcare systems and to develop prompt responses to health threats in Europe.
 
The pharmaceutical sector directly employs some 660,000 people in Europe including 116,000 working in research and development in 2011. The industry also generates around three to four times more employment both upstream and downstream. 
 
Europe’s research-based pharmaceutical industry generates a substantial trade surplus, estimated at about €48,300 million in 2011 (EU-27), and has contributed significantly to reducing the European Union’s trade deficit in high-tech products. € 27,500 million were spent on research and development in Europe in 2011. Almost a quarter of the EU’s high-tech exports are pharmaceutical product. 
 
Media Contact:
 
Nicholas Elles
Communications Manager
EFPIA 
Rue du Trone, 108
1050 Brussels
TEL:  +32 (0)2 626 24 79
Email : communications@efpia.eu