Monday, February 17, 2014

A Book I'll Certainly Read, Come April -- India Vs. Pharma IP Redux

As a follow-up to my longish entry of last night, regarding the increasingly shrill rhetoric -- on both sides of the globe -- about IP rights v. access to life-saving medicines at a "living, affordable" cost to the patient, I thought I'd mention this forthcoming book, by a pair of law professors -- one from Canada, the other from Israel.

I will pick it up, when it is printed, in April 2014. It looks to nicely distill much of what resides at the center of the current India debate I'm covering, here. Here's a bit of the tease for it -- out of the Cambridge University Press site:

. . . .Does health care promote equality, or does it in fact advance the opposite result?

Does inserting the idea of “the right to health” into health systems allow the reinsertion of public values into systems that are undergoing privatization? [Condor counters: I might suggest that no one (i.e., no government) "inserts" basic human rights -- they exist, whether we acknowledge them, or not -- but I take the general point as well-made.]

Or does it allow for private claims to be rearticulated as “rights,” in a way that actually reinforces inequality?

This volume includes studies from countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Canada, The Netherlands, China, and Nigeria, among many others, as well as authors with expertise regarding both the legal and health systems of their countries. . . allow[ing] readers to see the differing role of rights in various health systems. . . .

[Chapter 16] Right to health in India: addressing inequities through litigation | Anand Grover, Maitreyi Misra and Lubhyathi Rangarajan. . . .

This is, quite honestly, why there are no easy answers (in my estimation), to the titanic wrestling match between India and big pharma, now underway. We will promise only to keep (1) an open mind, and (2) offering small-window insights -- from time to time -- but be assured, you will read a lot more about this in 2014, and beyond.

And well-beyond India, too -- into all the BRIC geographies. . . that much is certain. With the richest nation on Earth finally recognizing a basic right to health care for all of her citizens (under Obamacare -- where at least her more-rational Governors are so proceeding) -- there is sure to be a "revolution of rising expectations," in the emerging economies as well.

[Finally, at the risk of sounding erh. . . shrill. . . I must return to that year end PhRMA press release -- to offer some advice on constructing more rational arguments -- for next time around: "When one compares the economy of an entire country (Hungary) -- to a single city (Mumbai) -- but ignores 1.23 billion additional human beings -- one has ALREADY lost the argument."]

Be excellent to one another.


Anonymous said...

Pardon the interruption here, Condor, but another player has entered the PD-1 game. Interesting take in this write up on where Merck's horse is in the race as well.

Condor said...

Thank you so much Anon.!

That is interesting. I find it fascinating that Novartis is trying to buy a ticket to this show.

It is too late to make one.

I also think basing a determination of "leading" -- in the race to market -- on a rolling FDA submission. . .

. . .is a little unsophisticated.

BMS is likely to have better data in the "bigger burden" cancers, sooner than Merck -- and the bigger impact cancers (not just late stage melanoma). . . will drive the market win.

IF oncologists willing write "off-label" Merck may garner a lead (should it clear FDA first with a melanoma indication) -- but the real question is whether the insurers, exchanges and Tricare will pay top dollar for "off-label" prescriptions in cancers, like lung or liver.

I am skeptical, so the winner will LIKELY be the one who gets "on label" in lung and solid organ cancers first.

We shall see.

Do stop back!