US: University patents versus developing countries

Officials charged with managing patent portfolios in US universities have found a new cause, reports the Huffington Post. In addition to opposing patent reform in Congress, they are opposing proposals being discussed in the World Health Organisation aimed at increasing research and development for neglected diseases and other global health needs, and expanding access to new medicines in developing countries.

On 16 April, the Association of University Technology Mangers asked its members to "Sign the Institute for Policy Innovation's Open Letter to the World Health Organization...in advance of the WHO's Intergovernmental Working Group on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property." According to the association, 'prize systems', a medical R&D treaty and compulsory patent pools are being advocated as alternatives to patents and IP protections at an upcoming WHO meeting. "These solutions could pose a challenge to our current and very successful system of innovation and tech transfer."

The letter is part of a PR campaign by the pharmaceutical industry to stop the introduction of new models for supporting R&D for new medicines, or more transparency of the system.
Full report on the Huffington Post site