Was there really a flu pandemic?
This article was originally published in Scrip
Agreeing on definitions is rarely easy, as has been shown by the arguments over what constitutes a counterfeit medicine. Now the issue has raised its head again, this time with last week's publication of a very damning report on the World Health Organization's handling of the flu pandemic.
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European Commission proposals for strengthening intellectual property protections in the EU, particularly the supplementary protection certificate (SPC) system, have been broadly welcomed by the European pharmaceutical industry federation EFPIA. But the medical NGO, MSF, says the SPC proposals run counter to the commission’s own efforts to improve access to medicines.
The EU has published an action plan that is intended to upgrade the bloc’s intellectual property framework while ensuring that goods such as medicines and vaccines are made as widely available as possible. The initiative is part of wide-ranging plans to support member states’ recovery from the pandemic crisis and help ensure the EU’s resilience to future health threats.
Under EU rules, once a medicinal product has been placed on the market in a country of the EEA – the EU plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway