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Law, Politics, and Access to Essential Medicines in Developing Countries

Politics and Society, Vol. 32, No. 2, p. 207, 2008

University of Wisconsin Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1094

40 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2009 Last revised: 18 Feb 2014

Heinz Klug

University of Wisconsin Law School

Date Written: August 31, 2009

Abstract

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.

Keywords: globalization, intellectual property, trade, medicines, HIV, AIDS

JEL Classification: K33

Suggested Citation

Klug, Heinz, Law, Politics, and Access to Essential Medicines in Developing Countries (August 31, 2009). Politics and Society, Vol. 32, No. 2, p. 207, 2008; University of Wisconsin Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1094. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1464872

Heinz Klug (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin Law School ( email )

975 Bascom Mall
Madison, WI 53706
United States

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