- Experimental Drugs and the Ethics of Fighting Ebola, with “Adapt the Trials: Trials Tempered by Compassion and Humility” – an opinion from Steve Goodman and our Nancy Kass, New York Times: Room for Debate, December 2, 2014
- Ebola and the Ethics of Nursing, Op-Ed by our Cynda Hylton Rushton, Baltimore Sun, November 25, 2014
- Treating Those Treating Ebola, with comments from our Ruth Faden, New York Times, November 5, 2014
- When A Loved One Has Ebola, How Can You Reach Out Without Touching? with comments from our Cynda Hylton Rushton, National Public Radio: Goats and Soda Blog, November 2, 2014
- Ebola: Quarantines and Transmission, with comments from our Zack Berger, Marc Steiner Show/WEAA, October 29, 2014
- Maryland to Impose Home Quarantine, Transit Limits on Some Travelers from Ebola-Stricken Countries, with comments from our Joe Ali, Baltimore Sun, October 27, 2014
- Why People Put Themselves in Danger in West Africa to Help Fight Ebola, with comments from our Zack Berger, Marketplace, October 27, 2014
- From Fear-Mongering to Crippling Debt, Lapses in Politics and Health Hurt Global Effort on Ebola, with comments from our Nancy Kass, Democracy Now!, October 27, 2014
- Some US Hospitals Weigh Withholding Care to Ebola Patients, with comments from our Nancy Kass, Reuters, October 23, 2014
- Ebola: Should Doctors Be Forced to Treat Infected Patients? with comments from our Nancy Kass, The Week, October 23, 2014
- Who Should Get Experimental Ebola Medications? And Are They Safe? with comments from our Holly Taylor, McClatchyDC, October 22, 2014
- Bioethicists Answer Your Ebola Questions, with our Ruth Faden, Nancy Kass, Jeffrey Kahn, and Holly Taylor, Bioethics Bulletin Blog, October 21, 2014
- Ebola: Nurses on the Front Line, by our Cynda Hylton Rushton, Bioethics Bulletin Blog, October 20, 2014
- Should the Names of Ebola Patients Be Released? with comments from our Jeffrey Kahn, ABC15, October 16, 2014
- Public Health Experts Gather at Johns Hopkins to Discuss Ebola Epidemic, Panelists include our Nancy Kass, HUB, October 14, 2014
- Scientific World: Ebola Special (Video, in Swedish), with comments from our Holly Taylor (in English, beginning at 52:40), SVT, October 6, 2014
- Ebola Patient’s Family Quarantined, with comments from our Ruth Faden and Jeffrey Kahn, Berman Institute Bioethics Bulletin, October 2, 2014
- Ebola Researchers Have A Radical Idea: Rush A Vaccine Into The Field. By Caitlin Dickerson with comments from our Nancy Kass. National Public Radio, October 1, 2014
- No Airlifts for Sickened African Ebola Docs. By Nicholas St. Fleur, with comments from our Nancy Kass. Scientific American, September 29, 2014
- Fear, Trust and Attacks on Ebola Workers. By Susannah Sirkin and Leonard Rubenstein. Berman Institute Bioethics Bulletin, September 24, 2014
- Sierra Leone on “Lockdown”, By Leah Ramsay, with comments from our Ruth Faden. Berman Institute Bioethics Bulletin, September 19, 2014
- A Looming Problem: How to Ration Ebola Vaccines and Medicines. with comments from Nancy Kass. Los Angeles Times, September 17, 2014
- Ebola Outbreak Continues to Grow. Our Nancy Kass along with Tim Roberton speak with reporter, Alex DeMetrick, CBS Baltimore, September 8, 2014
- The Ethical Implications of Controlling the Ebola Outbreak. Our Nancy Kass, along with Tim Roberton join Sheilah Kast to discuss, WYPR: MD Morning with Sheilah Kast, September 8, 2014
- Experimental Ebola Drugs Raising Ethics Questions, with comments from Nancy Kass, Baltimore Sun, August 22, 2014
- Medical Inequality in Ebola Treatment? Our Nancy Kass joins Ronan Farrow to Discuss, Ronan Farrow Daily, MSNBC, August 21, 2014
- Responding to Ebola: Selected Commentaries on Key Ethical Questions, with a summary/review of Nancy Kass‘ commentary in Annals of Internal Medicine, Bioethics Forum Blog, August 21, 2014
- Ebola, Ethics, and Public Health: What Next? By Nancy Kass, Annals of Internal Medicine, August 19, 2014
- Missionaries Deserved Access to Untested Ebola Drug, Expert Writes, with comments from Nancy Kass, Los Angeles Times, August 18, 2014
- Experts Believe Missionaries Deserved Access to Experimental Ebola Drugs, with comments from Nancy Kass, Forbes, August 18, 2014
- Johns Hopkins Bioethicist Defends Treatment of American Ebola Patients, with comments from Nancy Kass, Johns Hopkins HUB, August 19, 2014
- First Use of Ebola Vaccine Is At Least a Month Away, with comments from Nancy Kass. Bloomberg Businessweek, August 12, 2014
- Ethics Panel Endorses the Use of Experimental Drugs to Slow Ebola, with Comments from Jeffrey Kahn. NPR, All Things Considered, August 12, 2014
- Unproven Ebola Drugs Are Ethical to Use in Outbreak: WHO, with comments from Nancy Kass. Bloomberg News, August 12, 2014
- Wrestling With Ethics, Saving Ebola Patients, with extensive comments from Nancy Kass. Voice of America News/ Africa, August 12, 2014
- Ebola Drug Could Save a Few Lives. But Whose? with comments from Nancy Kass. New York Times, August 8, 2014
- Risk and Responsibility in an Age of Ebola (#NursingEthics), By Alan Regenberg. Berman Institute Bioethics Bulletin Blog, August 8, 2014
- Experimental Ebola Therapies Raise Ethical Questions, with comments from Jeffrey Kahn. USA Today, August 7, 2014
- Experimental Ebola Drug Sparks Ethical Controversy, with comments from Nancy Kass. AFP, August 7, 2014
- Should Ebola-Infected Americans Receive Special Treatment? with comments from Nancy Kass. ABC News, August 5, 2014
New Consensus Statement From The Hinxton Group Focuses On Japan, China
Tension is the theme running through the new consensus statement issued by the Hinxton Group, an international working group on stem cell research and regulation. Specifically, tension between intellectual property policies and scientific norms of free exchange, but also between eastern and western cultures, national and international interests, and privatized vs. nationalized health care systems.
The consensus, titled Statement on Data and Materials Sharing and Intellectual Property in Pluripotent Stem Cell Science in Japan and China, was released on the Hinxton Group’s website Monday, November 19, 2012.
“China and Japan are among the world’s leading nations in stem cell research, but because of challenges distinct from western nations, they are dramatically underrepresented in terms of patents and licensing,” says Debra Mathews, PhD, MA, assistant director of Science Programs at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics and a founding member of the Hinxton Group. Mathews was one of 22 co-signers of the consensus statement.
“We thought it was crucial, with the science advancing incredibly rapidly, and as intellectual property policies evolve in East Asia, to examine our 2010 global recommendations for proprietary issues in stem cell research in that regional context,” Mathews says.
Strengthening national stem cell innovation was the top goal articulated in Kobe, the statement says. Whereas in the West there is a robust and mature infrastructure for encouraging and supporting the development of intellectual property rights such as patents, East Asian nations like China and Japan have comparatively less well-developed, younger systems, the group observes. While this can make it more difficult to bring new inventions to international markets, the statement says, the opportunities created by the regional environment in Japan and China provide valuable lessons for the global development of this field.
“For example, as noted in the statement, Japan and China each have a large and highly qualified scientific workforce, paired with substantial national investment in stem cell research,” says Mathews. “This combination of factors means that both countries are well-situated to take the kinds of collective action that will be required to move the field forward efficiently and translate basic science discoveries into products and therapies.”
An area where Japan and China exercise strong state control to the possible benefit of stem cell-based invention is their national health care systems, the statement notes. In the West, strong intellectual property rights have encouraged the “development of stand-alone blockbuster products,” the group says, whereas the national health systems in East Asia may allow patients access to more individualized, innovative treatments. This, the group posits, could be a model for stem cell-based therapies.
“Innovation in China and Japan occurs in the context of national commitments to public health, and as a practical matter that should make access to cell-based therapies more equitable,” Mathews says.
The statement also notes the significant cultural differences that contribute to challenges — and opportunities — with intellectual property policy, practice and stem cell research in the region. The group notes that Japan and China are “markedly less litigious” than western nations, and recognition for scientific work and publication priority are highly valued. “Secrecy appears to be a relatively more common mode of protecting researchers’ raw [intellectual property rights], as opposed to more formalized legal systems of protection, such as patenting,” the statement says. In light of this, an appropriate incentive to sharing data and materials among scientists in the region would be the protection of their interests and rights, perhaps through a grace or priority period, the group says, during which the data is public but the original scientists have exclusive rights to publish.
The statement also discusses the challenges of sharing data and materials internationally, noting an “underlying tension between national and international interests.” In China, for example, samples donated by citizens are considered intellectual property of the state and are governed by strict polices that create roadblocks to international sharing and access. Such policies, varying country by country, may present significant challenges to the Hinxton Group’s goal of creating an internationally coordinated stem cell bank, the statement says.
“There will always be tensions between national and international and between public and private,” as far as innovation and the protection of that innovation, the group says. “Within the biomedical sciences, the key is to strike a balance that both promotes innovation and improves global health,” the statement concludes.
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Consensus Statement: www.hinxtongroup.org/consensus_hg12_final.pdf
Japanese and Chinese translations will be posted at www.hinxtongroup.org as soon as they are available.
About the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics
One of the largest centers of its kind in the world, the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics is the home for collaborative scholarship and teaching on the ethics of clinical practice, public health and biomedical science at Johns Hopkins University. Since 1995, the Institute has worked with governmental agencies, nongovernmental organizations and private sector organizations to address and resolve ethical issues. Institute faculty members represent such disciplines as medicine, nursing, law, philosophy, public health and the social sciences. More information is available at www.bioethicsinstitute.org.