Patent och hälsa – Intressekonflikten mellan stora läkemedelsföretags rätt till patent framförallt med avseende på hiv/aidsmediciner och u-länders rätt till tillgång till billiga generiska preparat
Law and Political Science
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AbstractAbstract This paper discusses protectionism of intellectual property rights in general and the conflict between large pharmaceutical companies’ rights to patent and developing countries’ rights to cheap generic preparation in particular. The essay focuses above all on HIV/AIDS medicine. The description tries to give an image of the different interests that collide and why they collide. The different actors are above all the pharmaceutical branch, including researchers, inventors and salesmen with their economic interest of revenue, and the population of the development countries and their pressed situation considering the great need of medicine. An inexhaustible depiction of the situation in South Africa, Brazil, India, Thailand and China is given to demonstrate practical examples of how different countries have handled the HIV/AIDS complex of problems so far. Since the phenomenon is very complex, many aspects are considered to make the description as credible as possible. Ethics, a number of social economical aspects, the human rights and the right to health in particular are illustrated. The work sheds light on the fact that the levelling between regulation and openness is a difficult adjustment. Specific terms of patent rights that are brought up are for instance compulsory licensing and parallel import. Different varieties of medicine such as generic and orphan drugs are described to give the issue further dimensions. The role of WTO and its regulation of intellectual property rights through the TRIPS-agreement are the central part of the essay. The perspective of public health is also depicted clearly through the Doha-declaration connection. Parties often voluntarily use the WTO dispute system "Dispute Settlement Mechanism". It is an example of a soft law solution. Should a bilateral trade conflict arise, it is used to resolve the clash of opinions. The downside is that sanctions are often weak in a soft law system. A practical case of hard law is also brought up. The case is a class-action lawsuit against the South African government in a national court. Other solution propositions to increase the supply of medicines to those who are vulnerable are that the pharmaceutical companies use different prices for different markets, that the amount of aid is increased, that the developing countries’ participation in, for example, health care is increased and that the information efforts are intensified. Also, to work specifically with exposed risk groups in the studied countries has proven to be a successful method in fighting the HIV/AIDS problem.