Statement of the Republic of Indonesia delivered by Erry Wahyu Prasetyo on the 28th Session of Standing Committee on the Law of Patents – Agenda Item Patent and Health

July 11, 2018 Intellectual Property

Thank you Mr. Chair,
At the outset, we would like echo the views that patents and health is a topic of great importance to all member states. Providing access to essential and lifesaving medicines at affordable prices is in the interests of all countries.
The patent system is designed to promote innovation and, at the same time, offer a mechanism ensuring that innovation are accessible to society. In the contexts of public health, the objective of the patent system is to achieve an optimal balance between the rights of patent owners, and the needs of the general public.
Mr. Chair,
Indonesia believes, that the objective of this exercise on patent and health in the SCP is to develop a work plan for this Committee to inform Member States in achieving the optimal balance between granting the right to exclude others and making sure that public access to medicine are not threatened.
Under this agenda item, this delegation also believe on the importance of the discussion on how the Secretatiat and Member States work together in the understanding and the use of TRIPS flexibilities for public health, recalling the fact that there is a cooperation agreement for technical assistance between WIPO and WTO which clearly gives WIPO the mandate to offer assistance on IP related matters which also covered by WTO Agreements.
Mr. Chair,
With regard to SCP/28/10, proposal by the delegations of Argentina, Brazil, and Switzerland on the regular update on publicly accessible databases of patent status information concerning medicines and vaccines. We would like to thank delegations of Argentina, Brazil and Switzerland for the proposal. We also like to thank delegations of Switzerland for the presentation. We’re looking at the proposal with great interests.
A regular update would allow Member States to engage in a constructive discussion on patent information on medicines and vaccines and on the ongoing work in this area, finding a balanced solutions to procure medicines at competitive prices, which, for us, it’s not only about furthering commercial interests through price negotiations, but also facilitating options to generic medicines.
We would like to recall that at the launch of the database during the 2017 WIPO General Assembly it was made clear that the database “… will identify patents that Pat-INFORMED participants have the right to enforce and may be relevant to the supply of generic products. It cannot provide – and must not be seen as providing – any guarantee of freedom to operate for a number of reasons.” We hope that the Committee would be able to find an agreement with regard to this proposal in a manner that would be acceptable at all.
Mr. Chair,
We thank the delegations of Argentina, Brazil, Canada and Switzerland for their proposal and the presentation of the proposal, as reflected in Document SCP/28/9 and SCP/28/9.Addendum, for a review of existing research on patents and access to medical products and health technologies.
This delegation fully agree that all countries share the interest to encourage the development of new and innovative medical products and health technologies, promoting the transfer and dissemination of technological innovation, as well as ensuring timely access to advancements in medical products and health technologies at a sustainable cost to individuals and society.
However, even though some might argue that in addition to the patent system, there are a variety of other factors both on the supply and demand sides that affect availability and affordability, including other access dimensions of medical products and health technologies, in principle, this delegation would be supportive of the conduct of any literature review on patents and access to medical products and health technologies, in so far as the exercise is within the realm of patent law issues.
It will not be within the remit of the SCP or WIPO to review other issues relating to access to medicines such as taxes, tariffs, price control regulations, differential pricing modalities, bulk purchasing arrangements, sustainable health financing and reimbursement systems, rational selection and use of medical products, reliable health and supply systems, and purchasing power and insurance coverage of patients.
This delegation is of the view that the Committee should limit itself from these other factors and/or other issues. They are yet to be defined clearly to ensure their consistency with the Committee’s mandate.
Mr. Chair,
It is in our interest that any review exercise also addresses the role of patentability criteria and the patent examination system in facilitating access to medicines and health technologies. In addition, we would be happy to lend our support if any review would also cover flexibilities in the international patent system on access to medicine, and application of robust patentability criteria from a public health perspective in the examination of pharmaceutical patents.
We are looking forward to further discussion on this proposal, and we hope that the Committee can find a solution for a review activity that would be balanced and acceptable to all.
Mr. Chair,
In this opportunity, we would like to recall the proposal of the African Group in document SCP/24/4, we hope that the Committee could start engaging in the discussion on the African Group proposal as contained in document SCP/24/4 for a work programme on patent health should be commenced as soon as feasible. It is our undertanding that any other proposals under this committee is not to replace the proposal included in African Group proposal SCP/24/4. We hope to have a meaningful discussion and an agreed work programme under this agenda item.
I thank you Mr. Chair.
 

Geneva, 11 July 2018