QUT Forum on Access to Essential Medicines — 15 February 2017

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Introduction

This forum was hosted by the QUT Intellectual Property and Innovation Law Research Program and the Australian Centre for Health Law Research in the QUT Faculty of Law to coincide with the visit of the Hon. Michael Kirby to the QUT Faculty of Law. It assessed and evaluated the recommendations of the United Nations Secretary-General’s High Level Panel on Access to Medicines. Access to medicines is a critical issue in respect of infectious diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, the SARS virus, Ebola, and the Zika virus. There have been a number of obstacles and barriers in respect of access to medicines — including the high prices caused by monopolies, and the absence of appropriate treatments for neglected diseases.

The speakers reviewed the proposed solutions for remedying the policy incoherence between intellectual property, public health, and international law. This forum considered such issues as health research and development; patent law and compulsory licensing; public sector licensing; open access and open innovation; international trade; bioethics, privacy, and human rights. The future possible implementation of the United Nations Secretary-General’s High Level Panel on Access to Medicines — both at an international level and by national governments were discussed.

The speakers included the Hon. Michael Kirby, Professor Matthew Rimmer, Professor Charles Lawson, Tessa Marshall of UAEM, Dr Pauline Zardo, Assistant Professor Bruce Arnold, and Professor Belinda Bennett.

Videos

The Hon. Michael Kirby, ‘Human Rights Meets Global Pharma’, 2017 Australian Centre for Health Law Research — 5th Annual Public Oration, 15 February 2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hl_pa2siVzk

Matthew Rimmer, ‘Donald Trump, The Trans-Pacific Partnership, Intellectual Property, Public Health, and Access to Essential Medicines’, Workshop on the UN Secretary General’s High Level Panel on Access to Medicines, QUT Intellectual Property and Innovation Law Research Program and the Australian Centre for Health Law Research, 15 February 2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NePMiZX304s

Charles Lawson, ‘Patent Law, Compulsory Licensing, and Access to Essential Medicines’, Workshop on the UN Secretary General’s High Level Panel on Access to Medicines, QUT Intellectual Property and Innovation Law Research Program and the Australian Centre for Health Law Research, 15 February 2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOLu-kbsV5Y

Tessa Marshall, ‘Higher Education and Access to Medicines’, Workshop on the UN Secretary General’s High Level Panel on Access to Medicines, QUT Intellectual Property and Innovation Law Research Program and the Australian Centre for Health Law Research, 15 February 2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLQ5cDubRCM

Pauline Zardo, ‘Open Access and Access to Essential Medicines’, Workshop on the UN Secretary General’s High Level Panel on Access to Medicines, QUT Intellectual Property and Innovation Law Research Program and the Australian Centre for Health Law Research, 15 February 2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0uGavUCkW0

Bruce Baer Arnold, ‘Access to Essential Medicines after the Trump-Apocalypse’, Workshop on the UN Secretary General’s High Level Panel on Access to Medicines, QUT Intellectual Property and Innovation Law Research Program and the Australian Centre for Health Law Research, 15 February 2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVUHEtrbL7A

The Hon. Michael Kirby, ‘Reflection on the Workshop’, Workshop on the UN Secretary General’s High Level Panel on Access to Medicines, QUT Intellectual Property and Innovation Law Research Program and the Australian Centre for Health Law Research, 15 February 2017 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoCxyImd9iA

Speakers

Bruce Arnold is an Assistant Professor in the School of Law at the University of Canberra. He has a strong interest in privacy, data protection, intellectual property and health sector regulation. He is on the editorial board of Privacy Law Bulletin and an OECD Health Information Infrastructure panellist. His work has appeared in Melbourne University Law Review, Journal of Medical Ethics, International Journal of Communication Law & Policy, Local Government Law Journal, Alternative Law Journal and other publications.

Belinda Bennett is Professor of Health Law and New Technologies in the Australian Centre for Health Law Research (ACHLR) in the School of Law at QUT. She joined QUT in 2014 as part of QUT’s research capacity building program. Belinda leads the Governance and Regulation of Health Care program within the Australian Centre for Health Law Research at QUT. Her research addresses health law and globalisation, global public health, and the legal and ethical challenges associated with regulation of new technologies.

Professor Charles Lawson Charles Lawson is a Professor in the Griffith Law School, Griffith University. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy from the ANU’s Research School of Biological Sciences in molecular biology and biochemistry and a Master of Laws from QUT for research into gene patenting and competition.

Tessa Marshall is currently in the third year of a Bachelor of Biomedicine at the University of Melbourne, majoring in Microbiology and Immunology, with the aim of ultimately pursuing a career in biomedical research. She is the president and co-founder of the Melbourne chapter of Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM). Tessa Marshall is interested in global health and access to medicines.

Professor Matthew Rimmer Professor Rimmer has undertaken research into the dramatic expansion of intellectual property law to accommodate various forms of biotechnology from micro-organisms, plants, and animals to human genes and stem cells. His work in these areas has made a unique theoretical contribution to the controversial public debate over the commercialisation of biological inventions.

Dr Pauline Zardo’s research career has been focused on research engagement, translation and impact, with a current focus on how open access, data, science and innovation contribute to research having an impact on society, beyond academia. Her PhD was on the translation, implementation and impact of research in public health policy and practice. Dr Zardo published several papers in this field during her PhD at Monash University, and also as Research Fellow in the Indigenous Health Equity Unit, School of Population and Global Health at the University of Melbourne. Dr Zardo is a mixed-methods researcher, with training and experience in quantitative, qualitative and mixed-methods research approaches and projects.

Matthew Rimmer, ‘Workshop Summary: QUT Forum on Access to Essential Medicines’, 15 February 2017, https://link.medium.com/AWasvDsre6

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