Parallel Importation as a Policy Option to Reduce Price of Patented Health Technologies
‘Parallel Importation as a Policy Option to Reduce Price of Patented Health Technologies’ (2021) 17(4) Journal of Generic Medicines 214-219
9 Pages Posted: 9 Aug 2023
Date Written: 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has burdened most of the health systems around the world. Governments, especially in resource-constrained low- and middle-income countries, are finding it hard to meet the health needs of their nationals. Patent exclusive rights further add to the cost of healthcare by allowing supra-competitive prices of protected technologies. Parallel importation of patented health technologies is a legitimate policy option to obtain patented health technologies at a reduced price. This paper examines the legality and practical significance of parallel trade of patented medicines as a price-reducing policy option and evaluates some of the practical hurdles in the actual use of this important public health flexibility. This study supports the adoption of international exhaustion of patent rights as a mandatory rule for the international trading system.
Keywords: COVID-19, global public health, international exhaustion, parallel importation
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