Media Advisory: Global Congress Attendees Will Develop Solutions to Grapple With the Intersection of Digital Privacy Rights and Improving Access to Affordable Medicines

Sept. 26, 2018

Media Advisory

Global Congress Attendees Will Develop Solutions to Grapple With the Intersection of Digital Privacy Rights and Improving Access to Affordable Medicines

WHAT: Activists, advocates and experts will gather in Washington, D.C., this week for the Global Congress on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest at American University’s Washington College of Law. More than 200 speakers from more than 80 countries will present to hundreds of attendees from around the world.

The “right to be forgotten” is a top privacy and free speech issue worldwide as more citizens are asserting their right to control use of their identity and biography in cyberspace.

Exclusive medicine patent policies have also drawn more scrutiny from governments and activists as an issue to address to make medicines more affordable worldwide.

Two of the conference’s major tracks will be affordable access to medicines and digital rights – specifically, the concept of the right to be forgotten online. Other sessions will cover:

• Access to medicines in India, Brazil and South Africa;
• New business models for pharmaceutical research and development: Thinking beyond “market failure;”
• Intellectual property and improving strategies for voluntary and compulsory licenses;
• Exploring the patentability of cell- and gene-based therapies;
• Using competition law to promote access to medicines and other health technologies; and
• Accelerating access to biotherapeutic medicines.

The meeting will feature two key debates and audience discussions. One on Thursday, Sept. 27, from 6 p.m.–9 p.m. EDT will cover “Does More Intellectual Property Help or Hurt Global Health, Creativity and Development?” Panelists will include Patrick Kilbride, vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Ruth Okediji, professor of law at Harvard Law School; and Joseph Damond, executive vice president at Biotechnology Innovation Organization.

Another debate will take place Thursday, Sept. 27, from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. EDT on the “Right to Be Forgotten.” This debate will be moderated by Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen. Panelists include Paul Alan Levy of the Public Citizen litigation group, James Love of Knowledge Ecology International and Anna Fielder of Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue.

The Global Congress is the main convening arm of a worldwide network of more than 800 researchers, activists and practitioners who work on the intersection of intellectual property and promotion of the public interest. The goal of the gathering is to promote evidence-based policymaking partnerships in academia and advocacy around the world.

The congress can be viewed by livestream here and is organized by Public Citizen, the American University Washington College of Law, the O’Neill Institute and the American Assembly.

WHEN: Public Debate: “Right to Be Forgotten,” Thurs., Sept. 27, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. EDT, American University Washington College of Law Grossman Hall 2 (YT01-02), 4300 Nebraska Ave NW, Washington, D.C.
Public Debate: ““Does More Intellectual Property Help or Hurt Global Health, Creativity and Development?” Thurs., Sept. 27, 6–9 p.m. EDT
Georgetown University Law Center, McDonough Hall/Hart Auditorium, 600 New Jersey Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.

WHO: Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen
Peter Maybarduk, director, Public Citizen’s Global Access to Medicines Program
Paul Levy, attorney, Public Citizen Litigation Group

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