Global trade and health: key linkages and future challenges.
Globalization of trade, marketing and investment has important implications for public health, both negative and positive. This article considers the implications of the single package of World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements for public health research and policy, focusing on three themes: commodities, intellectual property rights, and health services. The main aims of the analysis are as follows: to identify how trade issues are associated with the transnationalization of health risks and possible benefits; to identify key areas of research; and to suggest policy-relevant advice and interventions on trade and health issues. The next wave of international trade law will need to take more account of global public health issues. However, to become more engaged in global trade debates, the public health community must gain an understanding of the health effects of global trade agreements. It must also ensure that its own facts are correct, so that public health is not blindly used for political ends, such as justifying unwarranted economic protectionism. "Healthy trade" policies, based on firm empirical evidence and designed to improve health status, are an important step towards reaching a more sustainable form of trade liberalization. (+info
The road not taken.
The annual Janet Doe Lecture was established in 1966 to honor Janet Doe, emerita librarian of the New York Academy of Medicine. The lecture focuses on either the history or philosophy of health sciences librarianship. This lecture addresses three fundamental values of the field, highlighting basic beliefs of the profession that are at risk: privacy, intellectual property rights, and access to quality information. It calls upon readers to make the everyday choices required to keep the value system of health sciences librarianship in place. Robert Frost's poignant poem "The Road Not Taken" provides the metaphor for examining choices in an information economy. (+info
Impact of the World Trade Organization TRIPS agreement on the pharmaceutical industry in Thailand.
The 1994 World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) established minimum universal standards in all areas of intellectual property. It is intended to implement these standards globally through a WTO enforcement mechanism. The present article proposes a strategy for alleviating the potentially negative impact of TRIPS in Thailand in relation to the following: purchasers; prescribers and dispensers; producers; products; price control; patent-to-third-party; parallel imports; power of the customer; patentable new drugs; personnel; and prevention policies. The following TRIPS provisions are pertinent to the pharmaceutical industry in Thailand: the limited term of product and process patents; the conditions of protection; and the broad scope for compulsory licensing and enforcement procedures in the national patent system. (+info
A public health agenda for traditional, complementary, and alternative medicine.
Traditional medicine (a term used here to denote the indigenous health traditions of the world) and complementary and alternative medicine (T/CAM) have, in the past 10 years, claimed an increasing share of the public's awareness and the agenda of medical researchers. Studies have documented that about half the population of many industrialized countries now use T/CAM, and the proportion is as high as 80% in many developing countries. Most research has focused on clinical and experimental medicine (safety, efficacy, and mechanism of action) and regulatory issues, to the general neglect of public health dimensions. Public health research must consider social, cultural, political, and economic contexts to maximize the contribution of T/CAM to health care systems globally. (+info
Patents and innovation in cancer therapeutics: lessons from CellPro.
This article discusses the interaction between intellectual property and cancer treatment. CellPro developed a stem cell separation technology based on research at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center. A patent with broad claims to bone marrow stem cell antibodies had been awarded to Johns Hopkins University and licensed to Baxter Healthcare under the 1980 Bayh-Dole Act to promote commercial use of inventions from federally funded research. CellPro got FDA approval more than two years before Baxter but lost patent infringement litigation. NIH elected not to compel Hopkins to license its patents to CellPro. CellPro went out of business, selling its technology to its competitor. Decisions at both firms and university licensing offices, and policies at the Patent and Trademark Office, NIH, and the courts influenced the outcome. (+info
Biomedical informatics: precious scientific resource and public policy dilemma.
Biomedical informatics includes the application of computers, information networks and systems, and a growing body of scientific understanding to a range of problems. As skill in this field increases and as progress in virtually all modern biomedical science becomes more data intensive, informatics becomes a precious resource. Applications areas include access to knowledge, discovery in genomics, medical records, mathematical modeling, and bioengineering. At the same time, progress in informatics is deeply dependent on resolution of four major public policy issues: digital intellectual property rights, genetic testing protection, medical data privacy, and the role of biomedical data in the context of information warfare and homeland security. (+info
Drug registration application in China.
PURPOSE: This article is used to give a brief overview for people who would like to submit a drug registration application in China, or for those who would like to get a broader international drug registration perspective. METHODS: This paper concretely describes the new items in the current drug registration application through introducing following contents: qualification of the applicant, registration classification or type, the procedures for drug registration application review, the intellectual property rights concerning the pharmaceutical (drug substance and product), the process for submitting a drug registration application and the materials required in application for registration. RESULTS: From the paper, we have a comprehensive knowledge of drug registration application in China. CONCLUSIONS: The current Provision for Drug Registration is more reasonable and suitable for China's entry into WTO and further guarantee that safe and effective drugs are available to Chinese people. (+info
Interoperability of open source medical record systems.
This poster describes the open source medical system architecture and approaches for data sharing and interoperability. (+info