The Cycle of Action and Reaction: Developments and Trends in Intellectual Property and Health
NEGOTIATING HEALTH: INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND ACCESS TO MEDICINES, p. 27, P. Roffe, G. Tansey and D. Vivas-Eugui, eds., Earthscan, 2005
14 Pages Posted: 20 Jan 2012
Date Written: October 31, 2005
The wheel of the global medicines supply market is broken, but proposals for fixing it are at very early stages. The patent is an instrument designed to aggregate production capital, and for some product sectors the patent may be the best means for promoting the introduction of new products. But patents are not a stand-alone mechanism for addressing the world’s medicines supply needs. The patent-market system distributes output on the basis of capacity to pay, and allocates R&D toward financial demand, irrespective of public health priorities. The next chapter in the public health debate should consider the regulatory mechanisms most likely to serve the medicines interests of the wider world community, whether that involves new regulation of the existing patent system, or changing the patent spoke on the broken supply wheel.
Keywords: patents, public health, medicines, TRIPS Agreement, developing countries, negotiating
JEL Classification: I18, K32, K33, O31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation