Saturday, December 20, 2008

Despite Progress Indonesia Still Unwilling to Share Virus Samples



# 2574



Earlier this week we learned from Intellectual Property Watch some of the details of last week's Intergovernmental Meeting on Pandemic Influenza Preparedness in Geneva. 


While many issues were discussed, none was as delicate as trying to work out a solution with Indonesia over their sharing of H5N1 virus samples.  


Indonesia is claiming IP (Intellectual Property) rights on viruses that emerge from within their borders, and believe that they should control their distribution and use.  


Indonesia has refused to `share' virus samples until guarantees are made that they will be provided with vaccines, made from these samples, at an affordable price.


While there were reports of `progress' coming out of the week-long meeting, there was no word as to whether Indonesia would end their boycott on sharing virus samples.


Based on today's report from Reuters, more work is needed.





INTERVIEW-Indonesia sees progress on bird flu sharing


Fri Dec 19, 2008 11:02pm EST

By Olivia Rondonuwu and Ed Davies

JAKARTA, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Indonesia believes progress has been made towards agreeing a new global mechanism to share bird flu samples, although details need to be thrashed out before it will end its boycott, the country's health minister said.

Indonesia drew international concern when it stopped virus-sharing last year, saying it wanted guarantees from rich nations and drugmakers that poor nations would get access to affordable vaccines derived from their samples. Health Minister Siti Fadillah Supari told Reuters late on Friday that the action had helped drive home an understanding of the issues.

"Stopping the virus is to say that I have a strong will to make a new world health mechanism," said the minister, who is known to be outspoken on the bird flu issue.


"This system is not fair. If the injustice is in the economic system, the impact is poverty, but if the injustice is found in the world health management, then the victim is human lives," she added in an interview at her central Jakarta offices.



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