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Pharmaceuticals, intellectual property and free trade: the case of the US–Australia free trade agreement
Peter Drahos , Buddhima Lokuge , Tom Faunce , Martyn Goddard & David Henry
Australia did poorly in several key areas of the recently completed free trade agreement with the US. It failed to insulate the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) from significant change, and conceded to increased intellectual property standards. The PBS, as a system of effective bargaining with multinational pharmaceutical firms, has been deeply compromised and higher drug prices can be expected over time. The intellectual property chapter strengthens the position of patent owners and undermines the evolution of a competitive generics industry. These developments are part of a broader and internationally coordinated strategy being pursued by pharmaceutical multinationals to globalize and strengthen patent rights and monopoly profits.
Two views from the summit
This article reviews the objectives and results of the First Phase of the World Summit on the Information Society. It includes an analysis of the discourse conducted to this point at the Summit, and of the possible outcomes.
Three myths of internet governance considered in the context of the UK
Discussion of Internet governance has been shaped by three myths; that the market can decide, that the Internet is different to ‘legacy’ media, and that national governance is unimportant. This paper challenges these three myths through an examination of Internet governance in the UK in 2003/4 and argues that the Internet is a layered, not vertically integrated, medium of communication, that three modes of governance prevail—hierarchy, markets and networks (self‐regulatory). The layers of the UK Internet are examined, their governance identified and evaluated and the conclusion drawn that network governance is a distinctive, but not universally present, characteristic of UK Internet governance and that contemporary, well functioning, arrangements may be unstable requiring stronger hierarchical governance in the future.
Foundations of technology development, innovation and competitiveness in the globalised knowledge economy
With the growth of high‐technology industries and knowledge intensive services, the pursuit of industrial competitiveness has progressed from a broad concern with the processes of industrialisation to a more focused analysis of the factors explaining cross‐national variation in the level of participation in knowledge industries. From an examination of cross‐national data, the paper develops the proposition that particular elements of the domestic science, technology and industry infrastructure—such as the stock of knowledge and competence in the economy, the capacity for learning and generation of new ideas and the capacity to commercialise new ideas—vary cross‐nationally and are related to the level of participation of a nation in knowledge intensive activities. Existing understandings of the role of the state in promoting industrial competitiveness might be expanded to incorporate an analysis of the contribution of the state through the building of competencies in science, technology and industry.
China’s reformed science and technology system: an overview and assessment
Zhicun Gao & Clem Tisdell
Science and technology (S&T) systems are interconnected with economic systems. After China began to make its economic system more market‐oriented in 1979, reforms to its S&T system became urgent. China’s major breakthrough in reforming its S&T system occurred in 1985. This paper provides data on China’s changing S&T sector, outlines the processes of its reform and China’s changing sources of funding for R&D. China’s evolving technology market is given particular attention and some of its pitfalls are discussed.