Law, Politics, and Access to Essential Medicines in Developing Countries
University of Wisconsin Law School
August 31, 2009
Politics and Society, Vol. 32, No. 2, p. 207, 2008
University of Wisconsin Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1094
This article argues that to advance the struggle for access to essential medicines, it is necessary to identify the global and local regimes that shape the rules that give impetus to particular policy options, while undermining others. In exploring the role of law and politics in this process, the author first outlines the globalization of a standardized, corporate-inspired, intellectual property regime. Second, the author uses the example of HIV/AIDS pandemic to demonstrate how the stability of this new regime came under pressure, both locally and globally. Finally, it is argued that while the global HIV/AIDS pandemic and the social movements that emerged in response to government inaction have effectively challenged the TRIPS regime, this complex contestation has reached an unsustainable stalemate in which development aid, corporate, and non-governmental philanthropy is simultaneously providing increased availability to drugs while precluding a more lasting solution to the crisis of access to essential medicines in developing countries.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 40
Keywords: globalization, intellectual property, trade, medicines, HIV, AIDS
JEL Classification: K33
Date posted: August 31, 2009 ; Last revised: February 18, 2014
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