From HIV to NCDs: Will Patent Fights Again Spur Better Treatment Access?
PLOS Medicine, Vol. 10, No. 7, July 2013
4 Pages Posted: 4 Aug 2013
Date Written: July 23, 2013
A decade ago, a crisis over access to HIV/AIDS treatment was the catalysis for elevating that disease and the other infectious diseases disproportionately affecting the world’s poor as a foreign policy issue, mobilizing billions in global health aid. Now, a new controversy over patented medicines for cancer, diabetes and other noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) is emerging, particularly in middle-income countries. The intergovernmental institutions designated to address trade and global health concerns are proving unable to resolve this conflict. Alternatives to intellectual property, such as prizes or R&D treaties, have not attracted significant donor and multilateral support. Addressing the emerging NCD treatment-access crisis will require another transformation in global health, this time focusing on low-cost interventions and patient-centered, rather than country-focused, strategies.
Keywords: access to medicines, treatment access, TRIPS, WTO, patent, global health, compulsory licensing, compulsory licenses, pharmaceuticals, HIV, NCDs, noncommunicable diseases, cancer, diabetes, India
JEL Classification: O34, I18
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation