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Article
Patent Wars in the Valley of the Shadow of Death: The Pharmaceutical Industry, Ethics and Global Trade
University of Miami Law Review (2005)
  • Uche Ewelukwa
Abstract
Attempts to assist developing countries’ access to much needed pharmaceuticals have been implemented but will not address all the problems associated with public health in the developing world. The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (“TRIPS”) sought to balance access to low priced, essential medical supplies with a legal environment that respects intellectual property rights. Under TRIPS and the subsequent Doha Declaration, developing countries without adequate manufacturing capacities can import pharmaceuticals produced in foreign countries under compulsory licenses. Though, this arrangement’s true effectiveness at providing low cost pharmaceuticals to the developing world is not fully apparent. Careful analysis of the TRIPS negotiation history helps uncover the motivations of developing countries, developed countries, and pharmaceutical companies in addressing issues of public health and intellectual property rights. By examining specific cases in the United States of abuse by pharmaceutical companies to delay or suppress generic competition, parallels can be drawn as to how abuse may occur internationally despite TRIPS. Both the lack of a multilateral framework on competition policy and the costs associated with the potential implementation of TRIPS pose significant burdens for developing countries. Compulsory licensing creates conditions that impose unnecessary costs on developing countries, which limit the practical application of acquiring necessary pharmaceuticals, and will not address all the problems related to public health.
Keywords
  • intellectual property,
  • IP,
  • intellectual property rights,
  • IPRs,
  • patent,
  • patent rights,
  • copyright,
  • pharmaceutical,
  • medicine,
  • public health,
  • Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights,
  • TRIPS,
  • World Trade Organization,
  • WTO,
  • Doha Declaration,
  • Decision on Implementation,
  • developing,
  • LDC,
  • ethics,
  • global trade,
  • compulsory license,
  • compulsory licensing.
Disciplines
Publication Date
2005
Citation Information
Uche Ewelukwa. "Patent Wars in the Valley of the Shadow of Death: The Pharmaceutical Industry, Ethics and Global Trade" University of Miami Law Review Vol. 59 (2005)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/uche_ewelukwa/2/