Sharing Knowledge for Global Health
Making Intellectual Property Work for Global Health (So & Sachs | Harvard International Law Journal | 2012)
Abstract: “Intellectual property rights (IPRs) are often conceived narrowly from the vantage point of offering incentives for private sector investment in research and development (R&D), but the legal regime of IPRs can also work to improve access to public goods for global health, particularly for those disadvantaged by destitution and disease. The WHO Global Strategy and Plan of Action on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property (GSPOA), adopted by the World Health Assembly in 2008, calls for an “enhanced and sustainable basis for needs-driven, essential health research and development relevant to diseases that disproportionately affect developing countries.” How knowledge is generated, owned, and harnessed to support pro-poor development is at the heart of this effort. New approaches to tiering, pooling, and open-source collaboration have resulted from the struggle to deliver affordable treatments for AIDS and neglected diseases. In examining how intellectual property rights can most effectively and strategically support developing countries in implementing this ambitious and potentially catalytic agenda in enabling innovation for global health, this paper seeks to outline a coherent and strategic approach to address human development needs and to facilitate the harnessing of innovation and the sharing of knowledge for global health.”
Sharing Knowledge for Global Health (So & Stewart | Commissioned paper for The US Commitment to Global Health: Recommendations for the Public and Private Sectors, Institute of Medicine Committee on the U.S. Commitment to Global Health | 2009)
The U.S. Commitment to Global Health identifies technological innovation and diffusion as the main drivers for improving health for all people by reducing avoidable disease, disabilities, and deaths. The sharing of knowledge is central to that vision, but involves far more than making a journal article open access, posting a database publicly to the web, or licensing a technology. These are all important building blocks to transferring technology effectively.