Intellectual Property and Public Health: An Overview of the Debate with a Focus on U.S. Policy

34 Pages Posted: 10 Aug 2008

See all articles by Carsten Fink

Carsten Fink

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Date Written: June 12, 2008

Abstract

Over the past fifteen years, the United States and other developed countries have employed trade agreements to substantially strengthen the protection of intellectual property rights for pharmaceutical products in the developing world. The associated rules changes have already had an effect on pharmaceutical prices in developing countries, prompting conflicts between developing country governments seeking to promote drug access and Western pharmaceutical companies wishing to protect their exclusive rights. If anything, such conflicts are bound to intensify as more patent protected drugs enter pharmaceutical markets outside rich countries. This paper describes the global shift in intellectual property policies and employs economic analysis to evaluate its consequences for developing countries. It also puts forward several recommendations for policymakers in developing countries and in the United States, seeking to better reconcile innovation incentives and access needs.

Keywords: intellectual property, pharmaceutical, public health, international health

Suggested Citation

Fink, Carsten, Intellectual Property and Public Health: An Overview of the Debate with a Focus on U.S. Policy (June 12, 2008). Center for Global Development Working Paper No. 146, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1213145 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1213145

Carsten Fink (Contact Author)

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

1818 H. Street, N.W.
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Washington, DC 20433
United States

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