Intergovernmental entity Centro del Sur organized a high-level regional meeting on intellectual property and access to medication at the Hilton Garden Inn Hotel in Costa Rica, where representatives from all Central American countries, the Dominican Republic, Cuba and Colombia agreed to take measures to reduce the price of drugs and protect the industry’s IP.

The session was aimed at establishing clear short, medium and long-term goals to unify the work of the countries represented in different areas, including updating the legal framework connected to intellectual property within the industry, as well as other measures they pursue, ideally, reduce the high cost of medication.

“I think that if Central America and the Caribbean come together, there’s a lot we can advance on in terms of international negotiations. This is a long-term project and we will continue supporting it so that it can grow,” emphasized Germán Velásquez, representative of the Centro del Sur, to the Costa Rican press.

Carlos Correa, executive director of Centro del Sur, said that “the monopolization of drug patents” causes “high prices and great efforts” from developing countries to be able to access them.

“Seeking intersectional cohesion in the field of medicine, the strengthening of joint purchases of medication at a regional level, especially high cost medications, associated with the entry of generic and accredited bio similar medicines is a strategy to be implemented by public health systems such as ours to regulate the price of drugs and improve population’s access,” said on her end, Marjorie Obando, director of drug-epidemiology for the Costa Rican Social Security Fund.

The Centro del Sur is an intergovernmental entity with 54 affiliated countries and based in Switzerland, which promotes strategies to address issues related to climate change, sustainable progress and health development.

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