Friday, September 22, 2006

A good idea: amending Philippines’s Patent Law

Not all are bad news in the Philippines fight for affordable medicines. There is currently an excellent initiative to amend the Philippine Patent Law and incorporate public health flexibilities to promote greater competitiveness in the Philippine pharmaceutical industry and made medicines more affordable and accessible.

At CPTech we are following with great interest the work of the Philippine’s Senate Committees on Trade & Commerce and Health & Demography, chaired by Senator Roxas and Senator Cayetano, respectively.

On June 7, these two senators filed Committee Report No. 79 containing Senate Bill no. 2263, substituting Senate Bill no. 2139 and which would amend the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines. On August, 16 2006, Senator Mar Roxas presented a sponsorship Speech.

The proposed bill has a title that is worthy to read: “An act to make the laws on patents, tradenames and trademarks more responsive to the health care needs of the Filipino people by clarifying non-patentable inventions, allowing the importation and early development of patented medicines, and modifying government use provisions for drugs or medicines, to lower prices and increase access to and supply of quality drugs or medicines, amending for this purpose certain provisions of Republic Act no. 8293 otherwise known as the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines".

Some of the most important public health flexibilities included in the proposed legislation are:

a) Following on the example of the Indian Patent Act, exclude from patentability new indications/uses of existing substances that have already been patented.

b) Express recognition of the early working of a patent (Bolar Amendment in the U.S.)

c) Adopting the doctrine of international exhaustion of intellectual property rights that will allow for the parallel importation of patented medicines from third countries. And in order to make the process more easily operationalize, the proposal includes an exception to the application of trademarks and tradename restrictions when applied to parallel imports.

d) Amends the conditions for the use of a patented invention by the Government (or third person authorized by the Government) without agreement of the patent owner, to make the process simple and fast.

But not everybody is happy with this new turn of the Philippines, as Inside US Trade reported last 4/8/2006, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) opposes proposed Filipino patent law amendments and in that sense is pressuring Adrian Cristobal, Director General of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines.


Blogger water-centaur said...

hI, I am a staff of Senator Angara, one of the Committe members on the bill you posted.

The bill is now being deliberated on the floor.

We are in support of the laudable objectives of the bill. Relative to our study, may we request for inputs from you, if you do not mind.

I would appreciate if you have a matrix on the provisions of various countries on the issues of parallel imports, bolar exception,doctrine of international exhaustion, government use and legal cover for government use, among others.

Or any inputs you could share on the bill, we would love to hear it.

this is loreen, by the way.

6:57 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home