Global Pharmaceutical Patent Law in Developing Countries- Amending TRIPS to Promote Access for All


This comment will analyze the need to amend and revise the current global pharmaceutical patent system under TRIPS to take into account the needs of developing countries and overall public health. This comment will emphasize that the current international trade rules, which although administered by the WTO, are dictated by developed country governments and powerful pharmaceutical companies, and therefore, without reform will further diminish the access of poor people in developing countries to vital medicines. Part II of this comment will provide a general overview of the international trade law governing patents on pharmaceuticals focusing specifically on the development of the current global pharmaceutical patent system, which was originally created by the WTO’s Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Law (TRIPS) in 1994, supplemented by the WTO’s Doha Declaration and the WTO’s Decision on Implementation of Paragraph 6 of the Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health. Further, it will discuss the implicit and explicit exceptions to TRIPS provided within TRIPS Articles 8, 27, 30, 31, and 73. Part III will provide some general arguments used by developed countries to justify the imposition of stringent patent laws on developing countries and will argue against strong pharmaceutical patent protection in developing countries. Part IV will discuss the implications of TRIPS for developing countries, specifically their access to pharmaceuticals in an international trade environment. Further, it will show how the WTO is restricting competition, increasing prices, and limiting access to essential medicines. Part V will discuss the current patent laws of two crucial developing countries, India and South Africa. Part VI will provide possible solutions and considerations for reform of the global patent protection system under TRIPS. Part VII will conclude the comment with a brief summary.


Antitrust and Trade Regulation | Business Organizations Law | Commercial Law | Comparative and Foreign Law | Economics | Food and Drug Law | Health Law and Policy | Human Rights Law | Intellectual Property Law | International Law | International Trade Law | Law | Law and Economics | Law and Society | Medical Jurisprudence | Science and Technology Law

Date of this Version

March 2006