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Cablegate: Ambassador Discusses Pharmaceuticals, Afghanistan and Other

VZCZCXRO1556
RR RUEHDBU RUEHPW RUEHSL
DE RUEHNY #0086 0421547
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 111546Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY OSLO
TO RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0030
INFO AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS OSLO 000086

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV KIPR ETRD AF PREL NO
SUBJECT: Ambassador Discusses Pharmaceuticals, Afghanistan and Other
Issues with Health Minister

REF: STATE 3361

1. (U) In his introductory call with Norwegian Minister of
Health and Care Services Anne-Greth Strom-Erichson on February 10,
the Ambassador 2010 discussed intellectual property problems facing
research-based pharmaceuticals companies, Afghanistan, the H1N1
pandemic, and other issues.

2. (SBU) Pharmaceuticals: The Ambassador noted gaps in
Norwegian intellectual property protection for certain
pharmaceuticals patents filed before 1992. He informed the
Minister that Norway had been placed on the Watch List in the U.S.
Trade Representative's Special 301 Report in both 2008 and 2009
over this issue, and urged the GON to take steps to address the
problem. The Minister spoke frankly that she had not been aware of
this issue and assured the Ambassador that she would look into it.


3. (SBU) Afghanistan: The Ambassador thanked the Minister,
who had been Defense Minister until 2009, for Norway's support in
Afghanistan, while noting that the United States could use even
more help. Strom-Erichsen, who said she had visited Afghanistan
ten times as Defense Minister, agreed that Norway could do more and
said she would have liked for Norway to do more.

4. (U) Other Health Issues: Strom-Erichsen said she was
interested in the U.S. health care system, and noted that a
parliamentary delegation would visit Kaiser Permanente's offices in
San Francisco next week. She said one of the key issues in the
Norway's health sector is the question of how much service
provision should be public and how much private, and offered her
view that both were needed. The Minister recalled that she had to
deal with the H1N1 pandemic and the vaccination issue during her
initial days in office, but opined that the GON had handled the
issue well. The Ambassador highlighted his strong interest in
promoting both business and educational exchange with the United
States, and offered that there were promising possibilities for
collaboration with Norway's health care sector and with
institutions of higher education.
WHITE

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