International Patent Regimes and Access to Medicines: Is the Health Impact Fund an Effective Solution?
Patents are currently the most common mechanism to stimulate pharmaceutical innovation. They are considered an efficient allocation mechanism and a system in which fewer resources are squandered. Patents are of importance for pharmaceutical companies, since innovation is expensive with developing costs per new drug at more than 2 billion U.S. Dollars. In 1995, members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) signed the agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) to standardize patent rights in an international context. The trade agreement entails strict patent protection laws, i.e. a market exclusivity for patented drug over a period of at least 20 years. One of the main incentives to design the TRIPS agreement was to create a reward mechanism for pharmaceutical companies in order to recover costs, to make profits and importantly, to promote research and development (R&D) for diseases that affect developing nations.
The JOSHA editors are happy to launch the first issue of volume 3. The editors are especially thrilled to present the paper “Cancer: Modeling evolution and natural selection, the “Mitosis Game” by Roland Mertelsmann and Maximilian Georg. As stated in the title, this paper presents a computer game that depicts the cellular evolution for oncogenesis and the clinical course of malignant disease. The authors have designed a tool to both to better understand and to facilitate studying evolution in silico. The conceptual framework of the game is based on ten key intrinsic parameters of cells, which the authors call “The Hallmarks of Evolution”. Furthermore, Dieter Schmidt offers a very interesting historical account of “giant cell arteritis”. In his article “Schläfenarterienentzündung mir Erblindung: Berichte über Zeichen einer Arteriitis temporalis im 18.
We have previously analyzed and discussed the importance of cellular evolution for oncogenesis and the clinical course of malignant disease. In view of the complexity of the genetic phenomena and the effects of environment and chance, we have designed a tool to both, better understand and to facilitate studying evolution in silico. After review of the literature and of evolutionary algorithms (see Reading List in pdf document) we have developed a conceptual framework for describing, understanding and modeling evolutionary processes. As a result, we have identified ten key intrinsic parameters of cells, which we would like to call “The Hallmarks of Evolution”.
In this article the history of German-Argentine collaboration is discussed as well as implications for the future of science in general. Rubén Alejandro Villaverde is the Founding President of the Centro de Observaciones Astronómicas de Mar del Plata, COAM, where he has pursued astronomical research for more than 20 years. His research encompasses various astronomical topics such as black holes, white holes and the supersymetrical universum as well as philosophical concepts, the“Filosofía Cuántica Comparativa” which combines traditional philosophy and quantum physics. Villaverde has contributed to more than 700 Conferences and Seminars at the Universidad Nacional de Mar Plata and the Universidad de Belgrano in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The article argues that democracy is not a necessary condition for political legitimacy. Principle of equal-consideration does not provide a solid foundation of having a democratic decision-making procedure for political determinative projects. The paper suggests we evaluate the political instruments in terms of their exclusionary effect so that a more meaningful discussion could be held. The result of that evaluation shows that the notion of political legitimacy may be relativistic to a particular historical point of time, and thus, whether a political entity is legitimate or not is not depended on the form of the entity in question itself.
Six contributions to JOSHA’s Issue 7 of Volume 2 complete the year 2015, the first whole Year of JOSHA’s service to provide a novel open access internet platform to facilitate entrée to the broad diversity of important discoveries and creativity in the fields of Science, Humanities and Arts. JOSHA’s last Issue of 2015 presents again attractions and highlights. The inspiring reading list of Nobel prize laureate Kurt Wüthrich introduces into the three spatial dimensions of biological macromolecules as identified by the technique of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Six fascinating paintings of French painter Albane Roux open senses for gestural dynamics in a colorful world, as art critic Christian Malaurie points out: “La peinture d’Albane Roux est une respiration, un mouvement qui invite le spectateur à un voyage intérieur ouvert sur le monde.
Nobel Prize laureate Kurt Wüthrich is the Cecil H. and Ida M. Green Professor of Structural Biology at The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA, USA, and Professor of Biophysics at the ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland. He also directs research groups at the Universidad Federal do Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and at the iHuman Institute of ShanghaiTech University in China. His research interests are in molecular structural biology and structural genomics. His specialty is nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy with biological macromolecules, where he contributed the NMR method of three-dimensional structure determination of proteins and nucleic acids in solution. The Wüthrich groups have determined a large number of macromolecular NMR structures, including the immunosuppression system cyclophilin A–cyclosporin A, the homeodomain–operator DNA transcriptional regulatory system, and prion proteins from humans, cattle and a variety of other species.
This presentation by Dr. Mastroleo is Revision 1 of the previously published version of September 6, 2015 (DOI: 10.17160/josha.2.6.65) Dr. Ignacio Mastroleo works on human health research ethics. Since Feb 2015 he is a member of the Post-Trial Responsibilities Workgroup of the Multi-Regional Clinical Trial (MRCT) Center, at Harvard University. He has a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Buenos Aires and Assistant Researcher at CONICET (National Scientific and Technical Research Council of Argentina) working at the Bioethics Program of FLACSO Argentina with his advisor, Dr. Florencia Luna. He was member of the research ethics committee at the Oncology Institute of the University of Buenos Aires.
We are happy to present to you the Table of Contents for the next issue 2.6, with a number of articles and presentations by “bright minds at work”. Two artists are sharing their work and ideas with us, Jürgen Meyer-Isenmann with art on leather and wood, artistically transforming part of our industrial history. Dörte Oppermann presents a wonderful, unique description of her dreams in a series of poems and impressive paintings. A fascinating reading list on The Bayes Approach in Medical Statistics by Gerhard Nehmiz addresses the most important literature on the impact of Bayes' theorem on design and analysis of clinical trials. In probability theory and statistics, Bayes' theorem (alternatively Bayes' law or Bayes' rule, see also Wikipedia)) describes the probability of an event, based on conditions that might be related to the event.
Dr. Gerhard Nehmiz, Biberach, Germany, presents four reading lists on the Bayes approach in Medical Statistics - (1) References that had, from his subjective point view, historically the highest impact on the subject, (2) References that had the highest influence on his own thinking about the subject, (3) References to start with for a person with mathematical background, and (4) References to start with for a person with a medical or biological background. G.N. was born in 1955. He achieved the diploma in Mathematics in 1981 and the doctorate in Biostatistics in 1988. He is working as a biometrician for Boehringer Ingelheim since 1986. The main areas of his expertise include: Phase I trials in general, phase II and III trials in cardiovascular indications and hepatitis C. His special interest is project planning (extrapolation, optimization) based on uncertain knowledge. G.N. is married and has 3 adult children. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org