Meeting of the International Working Group on the Research of Competition Issues in the Pharmaceutical Sector

On March 24 at the World Trade Centre a joint meeting of the International Working Group on the research of competition issues in the pharmaceutical sector was held, with the Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia, with a high-level panel discussion on: "the Experience of the BRICS countries in overcoming the HIV/AIDS epidemic: the availability of medicines".

The session was devoted to international practices on the regulation of the market for drugs treating HIV and viral hepatitis. It brought together experts on public health, experts on regulation of the pharmaceutical market, and specialists in the field of intellectual property. At the heart of the debate – the effective mechanisms to improve access to treatment, existing restrictions in the countries of the regions of the BRICS and EECA (Eastern Europe and Central Asia) and the possible ways to overcome them to ensure the maximum number of needy patients receive vital drugs.

Director of the HSE-Skolkovo Institute Alexey Ivanov made a report on "Competition and intellectual property protection in the pharmaceutical industry". Ivanov called competition a major driver of innovation and proposed to consider the issue of compulsory licencing as an instrument of state policy. Alexey noted that the Russian legislator has decided to resort to the most restrictive type of regulation. For a developing economy, which is increasingly using more technological innovation than it produces, this approach is extremely unpragmatic and is not shared by any country with such a market in transition.