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Towards a Global System for Access and Benefit Sharing of Pathogen Materials

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Castro Bernieri, Rosa J.
Conference: Governing Pooled Knowledge Resources: Building Institutions for Sustainable Scientific, Cultural, and Genetic Resources Commons, 1st Thematic IASC Conference on the Knowledge Commons
Location: Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
Conf. Date: September 12-14
Date: 2012
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/9553
Sector: New Commons
Subject(s): biotechnology
genetic resources
Abstract: "A global debate has flourished on the interface between patent protection and access to biomedical technologies. Recent research suggests that an expansive trend in patent law might impede access to basic research; restrict access to medicines for low-income countries and also threaten the equitable exploitation of genetic resources by their countries of origin. The interface between access to patents and materials is particularly complex in the biomedical area, since many biotechnologies can be used either as research tools for biomedical research or as end-products; and also since the economic effects of patents are difficult to determine empirically, are spread over a long time span and are often unevenly distributed among countries. This paper looks at the problem of access and sharing of genetic resources (including those regulated by the Convention on Biological Diversity) and specifically examines the case of access and sharing of pathogen materials exemplified by the controversy on access to influenza viruses samples, which originated in Indonesia during the H5N1 influenza in 2007. The paper focuses on the global governance of pathogens access/sharing as a case that creates important concerns for global health. The paper examines global rules and institutions, which are regulating the issue in parallel, in particular the IPR system as embedded in the TRIPS Agreement, the access and benefit sharing system established in the CBD and the recently agreed Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (PIP) framework of the WHO, aiming to address access to virus samples and sharing of vaccines and other benefits."

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