OU Law Professor Srividhya Ragavan was invited by the World Health Organization, Country office for India, to speak at a national consultation workshop on “Trade, Trust and Technology in times of Universal Health Coverage.”
Representatives from around the world gathered in India in an effort to build public understanding of issues impacting universal access to essential drugs, diagnostics and medical devices. They also discussed ways to build capacity at the policy-making level and to share the best practices in this area from across the world.
As an increasing number of nations commit to universal health coverage, one of the most important challenges they face is ensuring access to drugs, diagnostics and medical devices. This has always required active government intervention in the form of public procurement and distribution, price controls, and quality assurance. Now, there are requirements for nationally and internationally coordinated positions within governments on trade, innovation and intellectual property regimes. Though most essential drugs and devices are off patent, in a period of 8 to 10 years over one-third of what would be the leading drugs in use could change. The challenge for government is to ensure there are other options that are affordable and accessible to the poor.
Professor Ragavan gave multiple presentations on Compulsory Licensing as well as Voluntary Licensing issues from each of these forms of licenses on Universal Health Access.
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