Medical epidemics that are constrained in the developed world are wrecking havoc on developing countries, which are bearing the brunt of HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases. Because medicines used to treat these conditions are patented, they are expensive and inaccessible to poor countries. In 1994, the United Nations established a system of international patent protection through the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), and simultaneously tried to accommodate its commitment to making life-saving pharmaceuticals available to developing countries. When TRIPS failed to accomplish this goal, Article 31bis, an amendment to TRIPS, was introduced in 2003, seeking to make it easier for developing countries to acquire low-cost drugs. However, the amendment has been criticized and has largely gone unused. This Note addresses ways in which Article 31bis can be employed to deliver treatment to the neediest. In particular, this Note advocates that, whether or not the amendment is used, life-saving drugs must be provided at low-cost to developing countries.
Erin M. Anderson,
Unnecessary Deaths nad Unnecessary Costs: Getting Patented Drugs to Patients Most in Need,
B.C. Third World L.J.