Links

Any link's presence here is not necessarily an endorsement of it's content. To see the Healthcare Hijack or Medicare and Social Security Stealth Capture - or Global Good Jobs Theft links click the links on the upper left.
Unaffordable prescription drugs: the real legacy of the Hatch-Waxman Act

By ALFRED ENGELBERG -This is a 2880 word article by Al Engleberg in Stat, on the Hatch Waxman Act, a law that he played an important role in shaping. The article ends with several of Al's endorsed reforms, including those directed at "minor changes" to a drug. One is to stop granting patents for minor changes, and to eliminate the presumption of validity in USPTO inter partes reviews. He wants FDA regulations changed "to prevent non-essential changes to a drug that serve to delay generic competition." Third, he wants to eliminate injunctions "for infringement of patents claiming minor changes to a drug after the patents claiming the drug itself or its medical use have expired." This last reform is a limitation on the remedy to infringement. Patent holders could seek compensation or remuneration for the use of the patented inventions, but not block their use. Governments that are WTO members can implement such a limitation on the availability of injunctions, under Article 44 of the TRIPS, and there are already such limitations in U.S. law, for some other purposes, such as the government's use of a patented invention, or a limitation on remedies when a biologic drug maker does not provide timely disclosure of patent landscapes to competitors. Engleberg notes that the Supreme Court has held that "aninjunction for patent infringement is discretionary and should not be granted when it would do a disservice to the public interest," (the eBay v Mercexchange case), and he proposes "Congress can make a legislative determination that it is not in the public interest to enjoin generic competition after the patent claiming a new drug or its medical use expires — at least in those instances where an injunction is sought due to the existence of a secondary patent claiming subject matter that is not material to the safety or efficacy of a drug as originally approved."

Fungal virulence, vertebrate endothermy, and dinosaur extinction: is there a connection?

by Arturo Casadevall - Fungi are relatively rare causes of life-threatening systemic disease in immunologically intact mammals despite being frequent pathogens in insects, amphibians, and plants. Given that virulence is a complex trait, the capacity of certain soil fungi to infect, persist, and cause disease in animals despite no apparent requirement for animal hosts in replication or survival presents a paradox. In recent years studies with amoeba, slime molds, and worms have led to the proposal that interactions between fungi and other environmental microbes, including predators, select for characteristics that are also suitable for survival in animal hosts. Given that most fungal species grow best at ambient temperatures, the high body temperature of endothermic animals must provide a thermal barrier for protection against infection with a large number of fungi. Fungal disease is relatively common in birds but most are caused by only a few thermotolerant species. The relative resistance of endothermic vertebrates to fungal diseases is likely a result of higher body temperatures combined with immune defenses. Protection against fungal diseases could have been a powerful selective mechanism for endothermy in certain vertebrates. Deforestation and proliferation of fungal spores at cretaceous-tertiary boundary suggests that fungal diseases could have contributed to the demise of dinosaurs and the flourishing of mammalian species.

Global Warming Will Bring New Fungal Diseases for Mammals

Fungi are major pathogens of plants, other fungi, rotifers, insects, and amphibians, but relatively few cause disease in mammals. Fungi became important human pathogens only in the late 20th century, primarily in hosts with impaired immunity as a consequence of medical interventions or HIV infection. The relatively high resistance of mammals has been attributed to a combination of a complex immune system and endothermy. Mammals maintain high body temperatures relative to environmental temperatures, creating a thermally restrictive ambient for the majority of fungi. According to this view, protection given by endothermy requires a temperature gradient between those of mammals and the environment. We hypothesize that global warming will increase the prevalence of fungal diseases in mammals by two mechanisms: (i) increasing the geographic range of currently pathogenic species and (ii) selecting for adaptive thermotolerance for species with significant pathogenic potential but currently not pathogenic by virtue of being restricted by mammalian temperatures.

Australian government has failed to learn from Robodebt fiasco, new tender seems to be returning to failed policies and targets."Privatising debt collection exposes people to companies who are not accountable"

Critics of the (Australian) Federal Government's botched Robodebt system fear Centrelink's new debt collectors have failed to learn from the mistakes of the unlawful recovery program. Key points: ## Centrelink's new debt collectors will be incentivised to compete with each other ## Those collecting more will win increased work, others will be penalised ## Settling the failed 'Robodebt' scheme cost the Government $1.2 billion ## Tender documents reveal a panel of new collection agencies must continuously compete to beat rigorous financial targets for recovering money from customers: either winning more work or facing penalties. Australian Unemployed Workers Union spokeswoman Kristin O'Connell said she was surprised the department was going to outsource the work. "As the Government's own documents acknowledge, this outsourcing model means debt collectors have incentives that can result in 'unintended and perverse' behaviour to meet targets and trigger fees," Ms O'Connell said.

The Robot Assault On Fukushima - The cleanup will take decades, and it’s no job for humans.

"Government officials originally estimated it would take about 40 years and $50 billion to clean up the plant, decontaminate the surrounding area, and compensate the disaster’s victims. In December 2016, they more than tripled that estimate to $188 billion. “We have never experienced a disaster as big as Fukushima,” Hiroshige Seko, the head of Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry, told reporters at the time, according to Bloomberg. “With our limited knowledge, it was very difficult to make the previous forecast.”

Domestic Regulation within the Framework of GATS

by Jan Wouters and Dominic Coppens, Institute for International Law Working Paper No 93 - May 2006 1. INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................... 4 2. EXPLORING THE WEIGHING SCALE OF GATS: BALANCING MEMBERS’ RIGHT TO REGULATE AND TRADE LIBERALIZATION ....... 4 3. GENERAL FRAMEWORK OF GATS ............................................................. 7 3.1. SCOPE ............................................................................................................. 7 3.2. GENERAL OBLIGATIONS ................................................................................... 8 3.3 SPECIFIC COMMITMENTS ................................................................................... 9 3.4. GENERAL EXCEPTIONS ................................................................................... 11 3.5. PROGRESSIVE LIBERALIZATION ...................................................................... 12 3.6. INSTITUTIONAL ISSUES ................................................................................... 12 4. ARTICLE VI ON DOMESTIC REGULATION WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK OF GATS ................................................................................... 12 4.1. THE ROLE OF ARTICLE VI IN THE FRAMEWORK OF GATS................................ 12 4.2. ADMINISTRATION AND APPLICATION OF DOMESTIC REGULATIONS.................. 14 4.3. FUTURE DISCIPLINES ON DOMESTIC REGULATION .......................................... 16 4.3.1. The Working Party on Domestic Regulation (WPDR)............................. 17 4.3.2. Disciplines Developed under Article VI:4: the Accountancy Disciplines 19 4.3.3. Key Issues for Future Disciplines........................................................... 21 a) Legal Status of Future Disciplines............................................................ 21 b) Scope of Future Disciplines ..................................................................... 22 1. Type of Measures................................................................................. 22 2. Restricted to Non-Discriminatory Measures? ....................................... 24 3. Unconditional or Conditional Disciplines? ........................................... 35 4. Level of Government ........................................................................... 36 5. Sectoral or Horizontal Level?............................................................... 38 c) Content of Future Disciplines................................................................... 39 1. Transparency disciplines ...................................................................... 39 2. Necessity Test...................................................................................... 41 3. Mutual Recognition.............................................................................. 48 4. Role of International Standards ............................................................ 50 4.3.4. Article VI:5 on Provisional Application ................................................. 51 5. CONCLUSION: BALANCING THE RIGHT TO REGULATE AND TRADE LIBERALIZATION, EQUILIBRIUM REACHED?........................................... 53

TISA Dispute Settlement - TISA Training Day 2

US is requiring countries to liberalize (privatize and end public services for corporations) Training on the TISA with trade expert Jane Kelsey - trade expert from New Zealand See also TPPnocertification.org

China, GATS, Trump: Do Non-US Insurers Get A Piece Of The China-US Trade Deal?

Of course these kinds of deals will make buying their regulatory freedom (required, under GATS Artiicle XXI (21)) and making any kinds of public healthcare scheme subsequently much more costly, quite likely so costly as to become impossible for the governments of both countries. But not as much as what going ahead ignoring GATS would cost! Not exactly what their peoples best interests require given the uncertain future, but certainly what their corporations very much want locked in forever, as soon as possible.

Lighthizer on a Sunset Clause in NAFTA

ALL US FTAS should have 5 year sunset clause. Having FTAS bind our nation forever is literally killing our democracy. Also see clip of the hearing on CSPAN - and read this comment on worldtradelaw.net ---- "Joel Trachtman said... "No need for a clause like this if, as the ALI posits, the president already has independent authority to terminate trade agreements. The inclusion of this clause suggests that perhaps he does not." https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4720231/user-clip-lighthizer-sunset-clause-explanation

Legal Commentary on Article XIX GATS: Progressive Liberalization (GATS' noose?)

Panos Delimatsis Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC); Tilburg Law School - Date Written: 2008 This is written in the format used in law books and its examining the chapters of the GATS which define it's one-way, noose-like "progressive liberalization" of services, making it so deregulation in services committed to in the GATS cant be re-regulated. The US media is suppressing this important fact. (and indeed the entire existence of the GATS) MAX PLANCK COMMENTARIES ON WORLD TRADE LAW, WTO - TRADE IN SERVICES,

World Competition Day

World Competiton Day is brought to us by INCSOC. This year, 2020, the theme is "Competition Policy and Access to Healthcare". Their main area is increasing competition of all kinds in governments global procurement of (often newly privatized) services.

Perils of the US-India free trade agreement for Indian farmers (grain.org)

Dated May 26, 2020. so this is about the Trump Administration, and agricultural issues but the US-India FTA has NOT gone away. As India has with jobs, (services) the US has similarly weaponized agriculture, IP, and a cluster of related issues. To hear how many put it, we've become a monster. indulging the huge corporations every wish. The issues surrounding what the US agribusiness corporations want on seeds (Actually, virtually all IP, including generic drugs they want taken off the market, drugs that saved many peoples lives) We also are pushing for rights to sell often controversial pesticides and hormones and chemicals and food products that use them which should be left to countries. The battle over seeds is particularly scary. IMHO if we want to keep our midlevel high skilled jobs, which were foolishly put on the table during the 1990s Uruguay Round, (and now the TNCs are drooling over the prospect of replacing a great many unionized and high skill workers with cheap guestworkers who really deserve decent wages, if they are to come here, and should not be used as scabs to screw US workers) we really should stand down on these other issues., Nothing is as it seems. The corporatists are hiding all this for a bunch of fairly clear reasons.

Guardian: Belgian minister tweets EU's Covid vaccine price list to anger of manufacturers

Guardian Link by way of ip-health mailing list at keionline.org . (When countries often fund vaccine development, why are the vaccines still so expensive?) "The UK, like the EU, has paid a considerable amount of money up front to help in the development of a number of vaccines that may or may not work, including AstraZeneca’s, so the final prices for those will be lower. However, it did not support Pfizer/BioNTech nor Moderna, so will be left with a high price tag for those vaccines. The United States has paid higher prices than Europe. Bernstein Research, an analysis and investment firm, calculated that the EU has a 24% discount on the Pfizer vaccine compared with the United States. Part of the reason may be that Europe helped fund the original research by BioNTech."

Broker says Anthem's new short-term plan will undermine Obamacare; Anthem says it's designed to complement ACA plans

It seems to me that WTO "standstill" rules may have limited any deregulation hiatus (the ACA) to a defined temporary period of time, and other restrictions, possibly ten years, please see the Understanding on Commitments in Financial Services and the late Nicholas Skala's 2009 paper for the IJHS. Note I am not a lawyer and it is also an area of WTO that hasnt been tested, but likely will soon, like the limits on outsourcing offshoring jobs, the outcome could devastate the ability to purchase healthcare by the growing numbers of unemployed - the losers of liberalization.