EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

TRIPS to Where? A Narrative Review of the Empirical Literature on Intellectual Property Licensing Models to Promote Global Diffusion of Essential Medicines

Shiri Mermelstein and Hilde Stevens

ULB Institutional Repository from ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles

Abstract: Governed through the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) since 1995, the current medical R&D system requires significant trade-offs between innovation and high monopoly prices for patented drugs that restrict patient access to medicines. Since its implementation, few amendments have been made to the original TRIPS agreement to allow low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) to facilitate access by generic manufacturers through flexible provisions, such as compulsory licensing and parallel import. Although a useful policy tool in theory, the routine use of TRIPS flexibilities in LMICs in the procurement of new essential medicines (EMs) is regarded as a ‘last resort’ due to strong political response in high-income countries (HICs) and new trade agreements’ restrictions. In this context, access-oriented biomedical Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) have emerged. More recently, leading multilateral health organizations have recommended different types of intellectual property (IP) interventions, voluntary biomedical patent pools, as strategies to reduce prices and increase the diffusion of novel EMs in LMICs. Nevertheless, the recent Ebola and COVID-19 outbreaks highlight growing concerns regarding the use of TRIPS flexibilities and the limited success of voluntary mechanisms in promoting access to medicines in the Global South amidst health crises. This review aims at describing the state-of-the-art empirical research on IP-related options and voluntary mechanisms applied by emerging PPPs to guarantee timely and affordable access to EM in LMICs and reflect on both models as access paradigms. Some suggestions are put forward for future research paths on the basis of these analyses and in response to contemporary debates on waiving key IP rights on COVID-19 therapies, diagnostics, and vaccines.

Date: 2022-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hea, nep-ino, nep-int and nep-ipr
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Published in: Pharmaceutics (2022) v.14 n° 1,p.48

Downloads: (external link)
https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/3372 ... Narrative_Review.pdf Œuvre complète ou partie de l'œuvre (application/pdf)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:ulb:ulbeco:2013/337220

Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
http://hdl.handle.ne ... lb.ac.be:2013/337220

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in ULB Institutional Repository from ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Benoit Pauwels ().

 
Page updated 2022-06-13
Handle: RePEc:ulb:ulbeco:2013/337220