Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=350080
 
 

References (45)



 
 

Citations (10)



 


 



Do Patents for Antiretroviral Drugs Constrain Access to Aids Treatment in Africa?


Amir Attaran


University of Ottawa - Common Law Section

Lee Gillespie-White


International Intellectual Property Institute

August 3, 2010

Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 286, pp. 1886-1892

Abstract:     
Public debate has recently focused on the issue of improving access to AIDS treatment in poor, severely affected countries, such as those of sub-Saharan Africa. International intellectual property law and pharmaceutical patents have taken central stage in this debate and it is a live question whether patents on antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) in Africa are responsible for blocking access to life-saving treatment for the 25 million Africans who suffer HIV infection.

We present in this study the current patent status of 15 ARVs in 53 African countries. Using a survey methodology, we find that these ARVs are patented in few African countries (median = 3, mode = 0 countries); and that in countries where ARV patents exist in 2001, it is generally only a small subset of ARVs that are patented (median and mode = 4 ARVs). The observed scarcity of patents cannot be explained by a lack of patent laws, since most African countries have offered patent protection for pharmaceuticals for many years or decades. Further, in this particular case, the geographic mosaic of patent coverage does not appear to correlate with ARV treatment access in Africa, which is poor everywhere, suggesting that patents and patent law are not generally de jure barriers to treatment access. We conclude that a variety of de facto barriers are more responsible for impeding access to ARV treatment, such as but not limited to the impoverishment of the African market; the high cost of ARV treatment; national regulatory requirements for medicines; tariffs and sales taxes; and above all, a lack of sufficient international financial aid to fund ARV treatment. We consider these findings in light of policies to enhance ARV treatment access in poor countries.

Note: This is a description of the article and not the actual abstract.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 7

Accepted Paper Series


Download This Paper

Date posted: November 21, 2002 ; Last revised: May 25, 2014

Suggested Citation

Attaran, Amir and Gillespie-White, Lee, Do Patents for Antiretroviral Drugs Constrain Access to Aids Treatment in Africa? (August 3, 2010). Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 286, pp. 1886-1892. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=350080

Contact Information

Amir Attaran (Contact Author)
University of Ottawa - Common Law Section ( email )
57 Louis Pasteur Street
Ottawa, K1N 6N5
Canada
613-562-5800 ext: 2015 (Phone)
613-562-5659 (Fax)

Lee Gillespie-White
International Intellectual Property Institute ( email )
906 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20003
United States
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 1,494
Downloads: 162
Download Rank: 105,768
References:  45
Citations:  10

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo3 in 0.812 seconds