Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
‘Major’ Emory Law School Conference To Address Access to Generic Antiretroviral Drugs in Developing Countries
Emory University School of Law beginning tomorrow will host a "major" conference bringing together experts from the law, public health, medicine, development and global business sectors to discuss patent law and access to antiretroviral drugs in developing countries, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (Wahlberg, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 4/2). The two-day conference, titled The NEXUS Symposium: An Interdisciplinary Forum on the Impact of International Patent Trade Agreements in the Global Fight Against HIV & AIDS, is sponsored by the Emory International Law Review and the humanitarian organization CARE and will address recent international efforts to reach agreements about expanding access to generic antiretroviral drugs (Conference Web site, 4/2). World Trade Organization talks in Geneva over generic drug access have been stalled since members missed a Dec. 31, 2002, deadline to reach an agreement. U.S. negotiators in February refused to sign a deal under the Doha declaration to allow developing nations to override patent protections to produce generic versions of drugs to combat public health epidemics unless wording was included to specify which diseases constitute a public health epidemic. The United States said that without such a list, developing nations could use patent overrides to produce generic versions of any patented drug -- such as Viagra -- that is not used to fight public health epidemics (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 2/20). The conference will feature panel discussions on the WTO talks including sessions on "Development Perspectives," "The Law of Intellectual Property, Health and Trade," "Health and Human Rights" and "Strategies for Moving Ahead," as well as talks from leading AIDS advocates, lawyers and government representatives. The conference will conclude on Friday with a discussion with U.N. Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa Stephen Lewis (Conference agenda, 4/2). A Web cast of the proceedings will be available online during the conference.
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