June 9, 2016

U.S. Chamber Condemns Colombian Health Minister’s Move Toward Stripping Privately-Held Patents

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) President and CEO, David Hirschmann, issued the following statement in response to a Declaration of Public Interest released by Colombian Minister of Health, Alejandro Gaviria. The Declaration formally moves Colombia toward stripping the patent for leukemia drug, Glivec, using a rare tactic known as a compulsory license.

“The Colombian Health Ministry today took one more step toward the issue of a compulsory license, which strips a patent from a private company.

“With this action, no one stands to lose more than Colombia itself.  Experience has shown that compulsory licenses actually restrict the very access and affordability of medicines.

“Compulsory licenses directly undermine global innovation by eroding global intellectual property standards and stifling investment.

“These actions are inconsistent with Colombia’s history as a stable, pro-growth economy. We urge the Government of Colombia to abandon this destructive course and reject Minister Gaviria’s declaration.”

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