The battle over access to essential medicines revolves around the rights to issue compulsory licenses and to manufacture and export generic versions of brand name drugs to expand access. Global brand name pharmaceutical firms have sought to ration access to medicines and have used their economic and political clout to shape United States trade policy. They have succeeded in getting extremely restrictive TRIPS-Plus, and even US-Plus, intellectual property provisions into regional and bilateral free trade agreements. Asymmetrical power relations continue to shape intellectual property policy, reducing the amount of leeway that poorer and/or weaker states have in devising regulatory approaches that are most suitable for their individual needs and stages of development. While the overall trend is disturbing, some recent activities in the World Health Organization and evidence of greater unity behind health-based TRIPs flexibilities provide some grounds for cautious optimism.
|Liverpool Law Review: a journal of contemporary legal issues
|Published - 2007