[DEBATE] : Call for paper: Intellectual Property and Access to Medicines
Riaz K. Tayob
riazt at iafrica.com
Thu Oct 4 00:39:12 BST 2007
CALL FOR PAPERS: SUR JOURNAL SPECIAL ISSUE
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND ACCESS TO MEDICINES
Sur – Human Rights University Network and ABIA – Associação Brasileira
Interdisciplinar de Aids (Brazilian AIDS Interdisciplinary Association)
welcome contributions to be published in a Special Issue of Sur –
International Journal on Human Rights on Intellectual Property and
Access to Medicines (n. 8, first Semester 2008).
The Sur Journal is published twice a year, distributed free of charge to
approximately 2,700 readers in over 100 countries. It is edited in three
languages: English, Portuguese and Spanish and can also be accessed
online at http://www.surjournal.org.
The Journal aims at disseminating a Global Southern perspective on human
rights and to facilitate exchange among professors and activists from
the Global South without disregarding contributions from other regions.
For our next issue – No. 8 –, we will prioritize articles which,
preferentially but not exclusively, address the following topics related
to the debate of intellectual property and access to medicines:
* Alternative models to stimulate innovation: In 1994, when the WTO –
World Trade Organization was created and many multilateral treaties were
adopted, including the TRIPS agreement (Trade-Related Aspects of
Intellectual Property Rights), a new safeguard system of intellectual
property rights was established. The TRIPS Agreement, for instance, was
adopted to promote technological innovation. However, 10 years after its
adoption, doubts have been raised concerning the promotion of real
innovation. Despite the fact that the number of patents has increased in
the last years, many of the granted patents do not represent true
technological innovation, being just small adaptations of previous
technologies. Besides, access to medicine is still a problem, mainly in
developing countries. In this sense, the discussion on those alternative
models for the promotion of Research and Development (R & D) on health
is absolutely essential.
* The impact of Intellectual Property on medicines for neglected
diseases: One of the main and the cruelest consequences of intellectual
property regulation today is the almost complete lack of investments on
research and development for the treatment of diseases such as malaria,
chagas’ disease, leishmaniasis and trypanosomiasis. These diseases,
known as “neglected diseases”, affect to a great extend poor people who
live in developing countries. They are, therefore, not a concern to the
pharmaceutical industry, as this industry is mainly worried about
developing medicines which already have an established market in rich
countries. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than
530 million people all over the world are affected by those diseases.
Yet, there are few papers written on the issue and there are few
initiatives to revert the situation.
* Implications of the adoption of compulsory licenses: The safeguard
system of intellectual property rights settled by the TRIPS Agreement
foresees some flexibilities that could be used by countries as a way to
shorten the adverse effects caused by the adoption of new rules and,
also, as a way to restrain eventual abusive practices which these rights
many times entitle. The restraint of abusive practices is especially
important when it involves the protection of public health. In this
vein, compulsory licenses are one of the flexibilities clearly
established by the TRIPS Agreement, representing a temporary restriction
to exclusive rights. The importance of a compulsory license and the
legitimacy of its use for the protection of public health are already
affirmed in many occasions by WTO members and by multilateral organisms.
However, the grant of a compulsory license is still faced by many as a
violation to intellectual property rights. The recent use of this
instrument by developing countries such as Thailand and Brazil has again
raised the debate, especially in relation to the restriction of measures
adopted by transnational pharmaceutical companies and by governments as
well. So forth, an analysis of the compulsory license implications is
* Best practices on guaranteeing access to medicine: Access to a
good-quality health treatment is essential for a healthful life.
However, few people in the world have financial resources to pay for
such a treatment. Illustratively, for people living with HIV/AIDS,
access to medicine is the difference between life and death. As a way to
demand States to act in accordance with their obligations, civil society
organizations have developed different models of social action,
stimulating public policies on the access to medicine. Sharing these
best practices is a way of promoting the access to medicine all over the
* The Judiciary role in the promotion of access to medicine: Some
initiatives have already been taken for the judicialization of economic,
social and cultural rights. In this sense, we hope to receive
contributions on role of the Judiciary in the implementation of the
human right to health, or more specifically, in the implementation of
the human right to access basic medicine.
As aforementioned, these themes are not exclusive, but only
preferential. Sur Journal issue No. 8 will also include some articles
dealing with general human rights topics.
Contributions should be sent in electronic form (MS Word format) to
surjournal at surjournal.org and should follow these guidelines:
-Between 7,000 and 10,000 words.
-Concise and objective footnotes. (Please find at the end of this text
the rules for citation.)
-Short biography of author with a maximum of 50 words.
-Abstract with no more than 150 words, including keywords for the
required bibliographical classification.
-Date when the paper was written.
Only submissions received by 3 December 2007 will be considered for
issue No. 8. Articles received after that date will be considered for
Ideally articles should be original and unpublished. Exceptionally,
however, relevant contributions already published elsewhere may be
accepted, provided that the required authorizations are granted. Please
inform if, where and when the paper has been published before.
Contributions will be evaluated by at least two members of the Editorial
or the Consultative Board of the Sur Journal and, whenever necessary,
also by external specialists. For this special issue, contributions will
also be evaluated by a member of the ABIA. Any suggested changes will be
submitted to the authors and published only with their explicit
As the Journal is distributed free of charge, we are unfortunately
unable to remunerate our contributors.
Sur Journal uses Creative Commons license 2.5.
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