The two-day international seminar on “Access to Medicines and Novel Medical Technologies: Health, Human Rights and IPR Perspectives” organised by the National University of Advanced Legal Studies (Nuals) started on Monday.
The seminar is organised in association with Centre for Health Law and Policy, Centre for Human Rights and the Centre for Intellectual Property Rights. The keynote address was delivered by Calvin Ho, Faculty member, National University of Singapore and Co-Head, Collaborating Centre for Bioethics, World Health Organization. He discussed various problems faced by low income countries, especially East and South East Asia and the need to rethink the definition of the right to health, by taking into account various reports by international organizations. He dealt with the inaccessibility of medicines, increased costs of drug development and problems related to counterfeit medicines in many parts of the world. Nuals vice chancellor Rose Varghese presided.
An introduction was given by Liji Samuel, director of the Center for Health Law and Policy. Athira P S, director of the Center for Intellectual Property Rights welcomed the gathering and Namita K L, director of Center for Human Rights, proposed vote of thanks. The first session was chaired by Thomas Scharff, former professor of law at the University of Darmstadt. Vesselin Popovski, member, Academic Council of United Nations System presented a paper on “Reduction of the Hansen’s Disease (Leprosy) through Free Access to Medicines and Eliminating the Discrimination of Leprosy- Affected People”. Dr Unni Karunakara, former International president, Medecins Sans Frontieres will address issues on “Access to Healthcare in Humanitarian Contexts: Placing Life before Profits”. There will be a presentation on “Comparative Assessment of Access to Medicine Situation in Eight Indian States with Focus on Availability and Affordability of Medicines” by Dr. Habib Hasan, Faculty, Public Health Foundation, India (PHFI).
Bismi Gopalakrishnan, director, Dr B R Ambedkar Chair (Centre for Human Rights and Social Justice), Department of Law, University of Kerala will present a paper on “Access to Medical Technologies: Problems and Perspectives”. Thomas Scharff will be dealing with the “Cases and Conditions for Drug Invention”. A discourse on “Indian Pharmaceutical Market- Structure and Concentration” will be conducted by Aashna Mehta, research associate, PHFI.