Bill C-13, the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act, was the Canadian government’s legislative response to the Coronavirus pandemic. In addition a host of economic measures, the bill included some unexpected patent law provisions designed to speed access to essential medicines, devices or treatments. Matthew Herder, the director of the Health Law Institute at Dalhousie University, joins the podcast discuss the new Canadian rules, the use of compulsory licensing to enhance access to medicines, and other innovative approaches to overcoming potential access barriers raised by intellectual property laws.
Post Tagged with: "access to medicines"
The LawBytes Podcast, Episode 46: Matthew Herder on the Canadian Effort to Break Down Patent Barriers to Accessing Coronavirus Medicines
Just Passing Through: Why Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Law Should Not Permit In-Transit Shipment Searches
As Canadian officials prepare for the forthcoming NAFTA renegotiation, changes to Canada’s border measures provisions seem likely to surface as a U.S. demand. Late last month, the USTR released its annual Special 301 report and the issue of Canadian anti-counterfeiting law – in particular, the absence of provisions to allow for the search of in-transit shipments that are not bound for Canada – topped the list of concerns. The U.S. report states:
The United States remains deeply concerned that Canada does not provide customs officials with the ability to detain, seize, and destroy pirated and counterfeit goods that are moving in transit or are transshipped through Canada. As a result, the United States strongly urges Canada to provide its customs officials with full ex officio authority to address the serious problem of pirated and counterfeit goods entering our highly integrated supply chains.
The U.S. position has garnered some support in Canada. For example, a recent Globe and Mail editorial urged the government to change the 2014 anti-counterfeiting law by granting customs agents the power to search and seize shipments that are not bound for Canada.
Last year, the federal government trumpeted anti-counterfeiting legislation as a key priority. The bill raced through the legislative process in the winter and following some minor modifications after committee hearings, seemed set to pass through the House of Commons. Yet after committee approval, the bill suddenly stalled with little movement throughout the spring.
Why did a legislative priority with all-party approval seemingly grind to a halt?
My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) suggests that the answer appears to stem from the appointment of Bruce Heyman as the new U.S. ambassador to Canada. During his appointment process, Heyman identified intellectual property issues as a top priority and as part of his first major speech as ambassador, singled out perceived shortcomings in the anti-counterfeiting bill.
The Conservative government has defeated a bill designed to amend the Access to Medicines Regime that allows for enhanced access to generic pharmaceuticals in the developing world. Despite the fact that other countries are doing far more to support access, Industry Minister Christian Paradis claimed the bill would violate WIPO […]
Legislation aimed at reforming access to medicines in Africa passed the House of Commons yesterday, despite the objections of major pharmaceutical companies and Industry Minister Tony Clement. The bill must still clear the Senate. I wrote about the issue in 2009.