Access to Medicine and Patent Rights in the Globalized World
Volume III, Issue II, 2020
The researcher in the present project aims to analyze the present position on the access to medicine after the introduction of product patent regime in TRIPS agreement, an outcome of globalization, especially in context with the situation in developing and least developed countries. The provisions of TRIPS agreement had changed the whole intellectual property regime by setting the minimum standards of IPR protection. Under the TRIPS agreement, it introduced the product patent regime which grants the monopoly right to the holder of IPR on the product itself which significantly affected and raised the price of medicines in the pharmaceutical industry. It created a big obstacle for the accessibility of medicine in developing and least developed countries. Although various flexibilities are mentioned under TRIPS agreement which can be used in case of non-working of patent or non-availability or accessibility of patented product in the market but there are still many developing and least developed countries which don’t have access to essential medicines. Also, under Doha Declaration it obligates the member countries to take measures to ensure public health but the situation is still not pleasant in most of the developing and least developed countries. Some of these flexibilities are Compulsory licensing under Article 31, Article 31bis of TRIPS absorbed under Section 84-92A of the Patents Act, 1970 of India and Principle of Exhaustion under Article 6 of TRIPS allowing for parallel importation of medicines in case of regional and international exhaustion.
Under the light of the above discussion the researcher will study the implications of the issue of access to medicine and imparting of justice to not only the patent holder but also to the general public not having access to it despite of the entire world being a global village because of which transfer of knowhow and medicines from one jurisdiction to other has become immensely smooth and easy. The researcher will also try to propose how harmoniously a balance can be adopted to resolve this issue thus ensuring justice to all the stakeholders.
Key terms – Patent, Access to medicine, TRIPS.