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SCU hosts conference on legal and ethical challenges facing biotechnology

SANTA CLARA, Calif. Sept. 29, 2003 -- Scientists, lawyers, ethicists, and business people from around the country and world will gather at a two-day conference Oct. 2-3: “The Future of Pharmaceuticals: Legal and Ethical Challenges" at Santa Clara University.

From research priorities to drug pricing, the conference will address the development and pricing of pharmaceuticals, as well as the challenges pharmaceutical companies face when confronted with medical emergencies in developing countries. The conference is the third in a series of annual conferences that address current legal and ethical issues relating to emerging biotechnologies. Two panels are planned:

“Social and ethical dimensions of research and development” will look at issues surrounding the development of new technologies by the pharmaceutical industry and the balance of profit and public policy.

“Pharmaceutical pricing, access and accountability” will explore costs and pricing policies and the need to recover the investment in successful and unsuccessful development efforts. It will also address the push to make medicines widely available to those who need them.

Panelists will include

  • Bob Armitage, vice president and general patent counsel, Eli Lilly & Co.;
  • Margaret Eaton, senior research scholar, Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics;
  • Hannah Kettler, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation;
  • Michael Meyer, professor, Department of Philosophy, SCU;
  • Cathryn Campbell, partner, McDermott, Will & Emery;
  • Vera Janushkowsky, director, government relations, Pfizer Inc.;
  • Michael Kevane, professor, Department of Economics, SCU;
  • Manuel Velasquez, Charles Dirksen Professor of Business Ethics, SCU;
  • Dorothy Glancy, professor, Santa Clara University School of Law;
  • Sarah Bachman, visiting scholar, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics;
  • Michael Meyer, professor, Department of Philosophy , SCU;
  • Vernellia Randall, professor, University of Dayton School of Law;

Kirk O. Hanson, executive director of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics will moderate the discussion of a case study, “Pharmaceutical Decisions in Response to Epidemics.” The case study examines tensions between intellectual property rights of the pharmaceutical industry and its ethical responsibilities when faced with epidemics, such as HIV/AIDS and SARS, in the developing world. The discussion will be videotaped in front of an audience and will be widely distributed throughout the legal, educational, and medical communities.

The conference is hosted by the High Tech Law Institute and the Markkula Center for AppliedEthics. On the Web at

About the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, Calif., is a nationally recognized resource for people and organizations that want to study and apply an ethical approach to decision-making. The center supports research, assists faculty in integrating ethics into their courses and helps businesses, schools, hospitals and other organizations put ethics to work. Ethics center programs include: biotechnology and health care ethics; business ethics; K-12 character education; philosophical questions in applied ethics, public policy and government ethics, and emerging issues in ethics.

About the High Tech Law Institute, Santa Clara University, School of Law
The High Tech Law Institute, at
Santa Clara University’s School of Law is designed to promote and advance the study and development of intellectual property law and related laws and policies as applied to existing and emerging technologies. The institute offers more than 40 technology law courses per year, including courses in core intellectual property, corporate, international, computer/Internet/communications, and life sciences law. www.

About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located in California’s Silicon Valley, offers its 8,060 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master's and law degrees. Distinguished nationally by the fourth-highest graduation rate among all U.S. master’s universities, California's oldest higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice.  More information   is online at


<p>Kirk Hanson, ethics center director, announces new international program.</p>

Tags: pharmaceuticals

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