The Illusory Promise: Patents (Lack of) Power to Incentivize Drug Development for Poor Countries
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CitationThe Illusory Promise: Patents (Lack of) Power to Incentivize Drug Development for Poor Countries (2006 Third Year Paper)
AbstractLow-income countries suffer infectious and communicable diseases at a greater rate than any other income group. Because people living in these countries are not able to pay high drug prices, pharmaceutical companies do not have sufficient incentive to research and develop cures for infectious diseases. This essay examines strong intellectual property rights and patent enforcement as a solution to this problem. It will provide a description of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (â€œTRIPSâ€) negotiations, where high- and low-income countries polarized to the degree that they failed to address incentivizing new cures for infectious diseases. It will then examine the incentive effects of TRIPS on the Indian pharmaceutical industry, and find that Indian companies are beginning to shift their research and development towards high-income markets. Finally, it will conclude that though intellectual property rights are important, ultimately, a market-creating solution is necessary.
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