Flexibilities provided by the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights. (Bull World Health Organ 2018;96:148)
(2018; 2 pages)

Abstract

In 1995, when the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) came into effect, all but the least-developed members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) were bound to provide intellectual property protection for pharmaceutical products. The proponents of the Agreement had argued that the global strengthening of such protection would spur innovation. However, after the Agreement came into effect, there was a fall in the number of new medicines being approved annually.

So far, the main impact of the Agreement on TRIPS has been on the prices of medicines. In the absence of competition, prices can be fixed – by the owners of the relevant intellectual property rights – on the basis of what the market can bear...

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