US pushes for diluting protecting access to affordable medicines in draft negotiations - (Business Line via NewsPoints Desk)

  • The US is exerting pressure on countries negotiating the final declaration text for the first-ever UN High-level Meeting on tuberculosis, reported Business Line.

  • According to people with knowledge of the negotiations, the US is refusing to sign the declaration at the UN General Assembly in September if language that "recognizes the importance of affordable medicines" and "urges countries to enforce intellectual property rules in ways that promote access" is included, the news source said.

  • Business Line noted that one of the final sticking points remains language on public health safeguards enshrined in the World Trade Organization's Agreement on Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.

  • This allows governments, among other things, to issue "compulsory licenses" to override patents in the interest of public health, the news source said.

  • The negotiators are expected to be finished with the text by July 23, after which the declaration text will not be re-opened, according to plans.

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