The Role of WIPO in Access to Medicines
BALANCING WEALTH AND HEALTH: GLOBAL ADMINISTRATIVE LAW AND THE BATTLE OVER INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND ACCESS TO MEDICINES IN LATIN AMERICA (Rochelle C. Dreyfuss & César Rodríguez-Garavito eds., OUP 2014)
15 Pages Posted: 17 Nov 2013
Date Written: November 15, 2013
Public health matters are fundamental to the development aspirations and economic growth of developing and least-developed countries. Yet, access to medicines remains a point of significant tension and, at times, intense discord among state and non-state actors over the role and impact of the patent system on public health. This chapter briefly considers the nature of WIPO’s functions and suggests ways in which the organization could positively exercise its tremendous technical assistance capacity consistent with facilitating access to medicines. The chapter begins by reflecting on WIPO’s mandate in an international environment in which competing visions of the IP system continue to engender challenges to the norms WIPO is tasked to supply and defend. How effectively WIPO positions itself in the access to medicines arena could be significant for the organization’s long-term ability to defend its relevance to key challenges facing the global economy and which are indisputably central to the emergence of a more stable global IP social compact.
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