New Paradigms on Innovation and Access to Medical Technologies: Delinking R&D Costs from Product Prices

Date & time

Jan 24, 2011, 4:00-5:30 pm EST


Weill Hall

Judit Rius,Attorney and Foreign Law Advisor, Knowledge Ecology International

With commentary by JESSICA LITMAN, John F. Nickoll Professor of Law

Abstract: The current system to finance drug development based on strong intellectual property rights is failing many in both developing and developed countries. The system promotes monopolies that make products unaffordable, and fails to provide incentives for urgently needed diagnostics and treatments for neglected diseases. In the last 5 years, developing countries and civil society organizations have encouraged discussions at the World Health Organization on new incentive mechanisms that are not based on monopolies and that de-link the cost of research and development from the prices of final products. Knowledge Ecology International (KEI) has been active in these discussions and in promoting the use of innovation inducement prizes for health technologies. The presentation will describe the WHO negotiations, introducing the concept of de-linkage and some of the proposals that are currently under discussion.

Judit Rius Sanjuanis Attorney and Foreign Law Advisor for Knowledge Ecology International (KEI). Her projects include providing technical assistance to developing countries on intellectual property law and negotiations at the World Health Organization and the World Intellectual Property Organization. Rius is also an adjunct professor at Georgetown Law School. Prior to KEI, Rius worked for an international pharmaceutical company, an information technology consulting firm and an intelligent software spin-off company of the Artificial Intelligence Research Institute, under the auspices of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology. She has also worked for Intermon-Oxfam Spain, been a legal intern at the Electronic Frontier Foundation and collaborated with the Stanford Center for Internet and Society. Judit received a Licenciatura en Derecho (JD equivalent) and Master's Degree in International Studies from Pompeu Fabra University (Spain), and an LLM in Law, Science and Technology from Stanford Law School.

Co-sponsored by: Center for Global Health, Center for Medication Use, Policy and Economics, Department of Clinical, Social, Administrative Sciences, Office of the Vice President for Research, and Universities Allied for Essential Medicines