On the chessboard that is the Asia-Pacific region, a fight over intellectual property, business ownership and trade may affect global health, writes Daniele Dionisio in an exclusive guest opinion. Check out this excerpt:
More than half of a total population of 5 billion people in developing countries rely on less than $2 per day. Patent protection has been criticized for hampering non-discriminatory access to medicines by delaying competition from generic versions of drugs and extending unaffordable monopoly prices for brand-name products.
High-quality, cheap medicines for tuberculosis, malaria and HIV – also as combination treatments – are currently being manufactured in India. Since such drugs from India (as well as South Africa and elsewhere) serve as a lifeline to resource-limited countries, it is a priority that their production is safeguarded.
As a World Trade Organization member, India has an obligation to enforce patent protection rules. However, its drug programs – and the export of medicine to developing countries in Africa and elsewhere – may be jeopardized by free trade agreements and intellectual property enforcement agendas that go beyond the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, or TRIPS.
Read Daniele Dionisio’s full op-ed, brought to you by Devex in partnership with the United Nations Foundation.