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PHAP Joins IPOPHL in Anti-counterfeiting E-Commerce MoU and Promoting Healthcare Innovations

17-Apr-2024 | Source : The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) | Visits : 773

TAGUIG - The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) has partnered with the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines (PHAP) to better protect the public against counterfeit drugs and build a local environment that encourages more affordable, quality healthcare innovations, a press release stated by IPOPHL. 

“By creating an environment that stimulates innovation through IP, we can ensure widespread access to quality and affordable medicines for our people even as we protect IP rights from possible infringement and the public against counterfeit drugs,” IPOPHL Director General Rowel S. Barba said last April 8 at the signing of the two memoranda of understanding with PHAP. 

In one Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), PHAP expresses its commitment to be part of the E-Commerce Memorandum of Understanding to respond to the challenges posed by illicit activities online.

“By establishing a code of practice and enhancing collaboration between signatories, we aim to create a safer online trading environment for all stakeholders, from notice and takedown procedures to proactive and preventive measures we are committed to upholding the principles of fairness and transparency in the digital domain,” PHAP Executive Director Teodoro Padilla said. 

Barba noted that PHAP’s inclusion to the E-Commerce MOU expands the membership of the anti-counterfeiting campaign to 37. Since its creation in 2021, the Philippine E-Commerce MOU has been enabling collaboration between online platforms Lazada, Shopee, TikTok Shop and Zalora and brand owners to streamline ways in preventing and taking down online activities that infringe on the latter’s IP rights. 

In a separate MOU, PHAP also vowed to collaborate closely with IPOPHL to navigate the IP system and the opportunities it provides in enabling greater collaboration among innovators and creating more access to medicines that respond to locally existing and emerging healthcare challenges. 

Both parties will be working closely to draft the work plan to execute deliverables on schedule. The agreements lay down a framework for knowledge-sharing on areas and topics of mutual interest such as emerging schemes used to distribute counterfeit drugs in the market and rules on ethical collaboration among healthcare service and technology providers, as well as consultations on legislative measures such as the amendments to the IP Code of 1997 and the Pharmaceutical Innovation Bill, which are legislative measures that are vital to the goals of both IPOPHL and PHAP.

The signatories will also be undertaking policy dialogue on areas that may strengthen the country’s IP regime for healthcare innovation and create joint anti-counterfeiting campaigns or other IP awareness activities.

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Fred Pascual lauded the new partnership, emphasizing its support for a thriving pharmaceutical landscape in the Philippines. “The new commitments to balance IP protection and innovation will help uphold the highest standards of integrity and innovation in the country’s pharmaceutical healthcare industry,” said the DTI chief.

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