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IP

Parlamento Europeu envia carta em defesa da PI à Câmara e ao Senado

Brasília, BR – Foi protocolada hoje, quinta-feira, 23 de Setembro, uma carta enviada do Parlamento Europeu aos Presidentes da Câmara dos Deputados, Arthur Lira, e do Senado Federal, Rodrigo Pacheco. Na carta, 11 membros do Parlamento Europeu expressam suas preocupações com relação ao futuro da propriedade intelectual no Brasil após a Lei nº 14.200 de 2 de setembro de 2021, que prejudica o ambiente de propriedade intelectual (PI) no Brasil, ser aprovada. A carta questiona como as indústrias europeias, de muitos setores que dependem de proteção de PI, podem investir e comercializar no Brasil. A carta teve apoio do grupo internacional de defesa dos consumidores Consumer Choice Center e da Frente Parlamentar pelo Livre Mercado.

“Temos uma relação comercial muito próxima com o Brasil, e por isso estamos preocupados com o caminho que o Brasil vem seguindo no que diz respeito às leis de propriedade intelectual” disse em nota Gianna Gancia, MEP. “Países com fortes regimes de PI estimulam a inovação e a criatividade e são necessários para o crescimento econômico, a competitividade e a criação de empregos. Infelizmente, a PL nº 12/2021, e a consequente Lei nº 14.200, não ajudam o Brasil a cumprir os objetivos traçados na Estratégia Nacional de Propriedade Intelectual” concluiu Gancia.

“A exigência existente no PL nº 12/2021 que determinava que as empresas compartilhassem os seus segredos comerciais não tem precedentes e é inconsistente com as obrigações de proteção de segredos comerciais do acordo TRIPS. Forçar a transferência de tecnologia negaria aos inovadores a certeza e a previsibilidade necessárias para investir com confiança e acelerar o lançamento de novos produtos no Brasil” disse o Deputado Paulo Ganime, coordenador de Inovação da Frente Parlamentar pelo Livre Mercado. Para ele, “o governo acertou em vetar essa parte do texto, que poderia prejudicar a nossa credibilidade. O mais importante agora é garantirmos que o veto será mantido”, acrescentou.

Para Beatriz Nóbrega, Secretária Executiva da Frente Parlamentar do Livre Mercado, “existem alternativas melhores para criar no Brasil um ambiente que promova a inovação, o investimento estrangeiro direto e o acesso a novos produtos. Queremos ampliar as parcerias comerciais do Brasil no exterior e para isso precisamos honrar nossos acordos internacionais e buscar políticas que protejam a inovação e a criatividade, com o objetivo de deixar claro que no Brasil há estabilidade jurídica.”

Para Fábio Fernandes, Diretor de Comunicação da associação de consumidores Consumer Choice Center (Centro de Escolha do Consumidor), esta mudança na Lei preocupa muito os consumidores e pacientes brasileiros, pois decidirá o futuro da inovação nos campos da tecnologia, agropecuária e medicina.

“Os consumidores estão preocupados com a possibilidade de novos produtos, tecnologias e medicamentos não estarem disponíveis no Brasil por uma insegurança jurídica. A lei de propriedade intelectual no Brasil está de acordo com o padrão internacional porém essa nova lei, somada à recente decisão do STF sobre o Artigo 40 da Lei de PI, pode enfraquecer esse direito pondo em risco o futuro da inovação no Brasil” afirmou Fernandes. 

“Vacinas para o setor de agropecuária, remédios contra o câncer, componentes de informática como microchips para celulares, e até inteligência artificial são alguns exemplos de produtos e inovações que podem atrasar ou até mesmo nunca chegar ao mercado brasileiro” concluiu Fernandes.

I celebrated World IP Day but many didn’t

Last Sunday (April 26th) marked World Intellectual Property Day. While the existence of IP has allowed innovators to enjoy the rewards of their invention, more and more voices speak up against patents and IP in general. So while I celebrated World IP Day many didn’t even want to show up to the party.

The current COVID-19 crises triggers many voices that ask to ban all patents of COVID-19 related tests, drugs, and vaccines. I stumbled ac ross some very wrong statements and want to highlight these and explain what their authors got wrong.

Michael Barker for instance writes:

Flowing from the relentless drive for super-profits, we can also understand the process by which big pharma makes decisions on the type of drugs they will prioritise for mass production. Medicines that can be sold to wealthy consumers in developed countries, are fast-tracked, while drugs and treatments that might benefit the poorest billions simply fall by the wayside. Human life is secondary to the pursuit of profits.

The author might not know that depending on the country you live in and the insurance you have, drug prices can vary enormously, not because of the decisions of the manufacturer, but because of the local reimbursement models. However, producers also sell at different initial costs in developing countries. The British company GlaxoSmithKline usually caps their drug prices in emerging markets at 25% of the price they ask for in developed countries. In many cases the price is way below the 25% cap. The same company offers their HIV/AIDS treatment at merely variable cost in South Africa. Since 2001 the Swiss company Novartis supplies the fixed-dose artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) without profit to public-sector buyers. Over 850 million antimalarial treatments have been delivered to patients in more than 60 malaria-endemic countries. American biotechnology company Gilead has an access partnership campaign that licenses out their drugs to local partners in low- and middle-income countries, selling drugs at cost.   

Another group that sometimes totally misunderstands the pharmaceutical research industry is the well-respected NGO Doctors without Borders (MSF). While I am a personal fan of their work on the front lines of health conflicts, I wholeheartedly disagree with their understanding of patents and profits.

MSF states:

The international medical humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) today called for no patents or profiteering on drugs, tests, or vaccines used for the COVID-19 pandemic, and for governments to prepare to suspend and override patents and take other measures, such as price controls, to ensure availability, reduce prices and save more lives.

Price controls will actually lead to shortages – We have seen this in the past and see this in the current COVID-19 crisis. Whenever a government limits the price of a good, its supply tends to go down. To controlling prices and at the same time ensuring availability is just and oxymoron. If MSF genuinely wants to save more lives (which I believe), they should encourage flexible prices and patent-protection – At the same time they might want to reconsider their own policy of not accepting in kind donations of the pharmaceutical industry…

MSF campaigners raise a point in favour of eliminating private property protection, saying that the ownership hasn’t even been established through private funds. Since manufacturers receive public grants for their work, their results should also be public ownership. While it is true that one in three Euros spent on pharmaceutical research is public money, it is also true that this public expenditure is offset by the taxes paid. The industry, employees, and customers pay directly a much higher amount of taxes than is received subsidies. Total R&D expenditure in the UK in 2015 was 4.1bn GBP (of which roughly 1.2 GBP are public funds) and direct tax contribution was 300% higher at 3.7. Billion.

How Can We Improve Healthcare Today?

As 2019 wraps up, there is plenty of ample opportunity to discuss what should be the priorities for Congressional lawmakers in 2020.

What is top of mind for many Americans, of course, is healthcare.

It’s as much about the cost as it is about services and the ability to choose what works best for you and your family.

On the Democratic side, many presidential candidates are endorsing Medicare For All as an answer. We’d be inclined to disagree.

Others have focused just on repealing Obamacare (The Affordable Care Act). A challenge to its constitutionality is once more making its way through the courts.

Here’s a quick breakdown that we believe would empower consumer choice, affordability, and make people better off today.

👉Allow health professionals to practice in every state (reciprocity)

👉Reduce barriers to entry for health professionals, and create more streamlined license recognition for immigrants

👉Promote price of care transparency

👉Keep pharma competitive and protect IP to offer the best treatments

👉Digitize records to upgrade our systems

👉Emphasize the role of catastrophic insurance

👉Allow portability of insurance between employers

👉Allow additional tax benefits for those who save money for health costs (HSAs, etc.) and let them use where necessary

👉Allow insurance companies to offer plans and compete across state lines

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