Friday, September 15, 2006

Social Justice and New Approaches to Promoting Pharmaceutical Innovation

The Consumer Project on Technology (CPTech) is hosting a seminar by Thomas Pogge on “Social Justice and New Approaches to Promoting Pharmaceutical Innovation.”

Date: Tuesday, October 17th, 2006
Time: 12-1:30pm
Venue: 1621 Connecticut Avenue Suite 500, Washington, DC 20009

Several proposals have been put forth suggesting ways to promote productive pharmaceutical innovation without relying on drug monopolies that lead to exorbitant prices. On October 17th, CPTech will host Thomas Pogge’s presentation of one such proposal and discussion of the need for pharmaceutical IP reform from the perspective of social justice.

Pogge is a professor of political science and philosophy at Columbia University and the Australian National University. He received his PhD from Harvard under the supervision of John Rawls and is the author of World Poverty and Human Rights. Pogge’s work is considered seminal in the field of global justice, and he has recently devoted considerable research to intellectual property as it relates to access to medicine.

According to Pogge,
“The rules should be redesigned so that the development of any new essential drug is rewarded in proportion to its impact on the global disease burden (not through monopoly rents). This reform would bring down drug prices worldwide close to their marginal cost of production and would powerfully stimulate pharmaceutical research into currently neglected diseases concentrated among the poor. Its feasibility shows that the existing medical-patent regime (TRIPS as supplemented by bilateral agreements) is severely unjust — and its imposition a human rights violation on account of the avoidable mortality and morbidity it foreseeably produces.”

From “Human Rights and Global Health: A Research Program” in Ethics and Infectious Disease (Oxford: Blackwell 2006), 285-314.

We encourage all to attend what will certainly be a fascinating and insightful presentation and discussion. If you would like to join us, please RSVP your name, title, organization and contact information to or 202 332 2670.


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