Monday, 14 March 2011 8:22 AM

Taiwanese Doctor Seeks to Patent Findings in Solomon Islands

The Network of the Indigenous Peoples of Solomons, NIPS, strongly supports the position of the Solomon Islands Research and Ethical committee to refuse or quash a patent application in the United States.

The patent application is based on a gout and hyperuricemia diagnostic test involving genetic samples taken from 192 Solomon Islanders in a September 2006 research trip by Taiwanese, Dr Yin-Ching Ko of Kaohsiung Medical University.

The samples were collected at the National referral Hospital and two clinics in south eastern Guadalcanal.

NIPS says it was concerned Dr Ko may have obtained informed consent from indigenous peoples of Solomon Islands when collecting samples "for research only and not for patenting research findings."

The Indigenous people's organization says that Free, Prior and Informed Consent is a right to any indigenous peoples.

It says this right is always undermined by foreigners when it involves resources, lands and territories belonging to the indigenous peoples.

NIPS say a 2007 bioethics presentation by Dr Ko in a slide show indicates he obtained 800 samples from the Solomon Islands that were shipped back to Taiwan.

NIPS supports the Solomon Islands Research and Ethical Committee and demands immediate ban on the collected samples for further commercial use, publication ban on any use of the samples and for use in any patent application.

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