Costing life? Intellectual property barriers to access new treatments and pathways towards improvement
Skyrocketing prices of the recently introduced hepatitis C treatment caused much attention and outrage worldwide. Hepatitis C is now curable – provided people can afford and get access to the new medicines, which were launched at a price of $1000 per pill. Yuanqiong, legal adviser of the Access Campaign of Doctors Without Borders, will give an introduction about how protection of intellectual property rights leads to access barriers to new medical innovations globally using the examples of the hepatitis C treatment and the Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccines. Public research can contribute to overcome intellectual property barriers and possible approaches to do so will be presented and discussed with students of the group Universities Allied for Essential Medicines at the end.
HU Yuanqiong is a lawyer and researcher on intellectual property law, international law and human rights. She works as Legal and Policy Advisor for Access Campaign of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) with focus on intellectual property and access to medicines, and has worked as Head of Policy and Research Division of Save the Children China, and Environmental Law Attorney of Natural Resources Defence Council (US). She is currently pursuing doctorate research at SOAS.