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Drug Patents Under the Spotlight. Sharing practical knowledge about pharmaceutical patents
(2003; 40 pages) Voir le document au format PDF
Patents have been one of the most hotly debated topics on access to essential medicines since the creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the conclusion of the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) in 1994. Patents are by no means the only barrier to access to life-saving medicines, but they can play a significant, or even determinant, role in that they grant the patent holder a monopoly on a drug for a number of years. The patent holder’s freedom to set prices has resulted in drugs being unaffordable to the majority of people living in developed countries. On the other hand, a functioning patent system is also supposed to guarantee that the public at large benefits from any innovation, including medicines. Countries have deployed various strategies to strike a balance between private and public interests in their intellectual property systems, and they have had various degrees of success. Getting the balance just right is particularly important for governments of developing countries as they work to protect public health while making their patent laws TRIPS compliant. A full and frank re-appraisal of the role that a patent system plays in public health alongside other public policy tools is now taking place. The WTO 2001 Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health has played a powerful role in this process. Another important development has been the publication of the report of the UK Commission on Intellectual Property Rights, “Integrating Intellectual Property Rights and Development Policy” in September 2002[1], which strongly advocated for patent systems that support the public health policies of developing countries, according to the needs and level of development of each country. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) works in many developing countries around the world. Procurement of medicines is part of the organisation’s daily business, which is why we are interested in knowing which medicines are patented in which countries. This information is currently not publicly available in a form that can be easily understood.
Table des matières
Afficher le document1. Introduction
Ouvrir ce répertoire et afficher son contenu2. Four key concepts to understanding drug patents
Ouvrir ce répertoire et afficher son contenu3. The patent system should respond to countries' public interest
Afficher le document4. How to read and use the patent table
Afficher le document5. Conclusions
Afficher le document6. References
Afficher le documentAnnex A - Patent Table
Afficher le documentAnnex B - The anatomy of a patent

Drug Patents Under the Spotlight. Sharing practical knowledge about pharmaceutical patents

Sharing practical knowledge about pharmaceutical patents

May 2003

Médecins Sans Frontières
Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines
Rue du Lac 12
CP 6090
CH - 1211 Geneva
Tel. ++41-(0)22-8498 405
Fax ++41-(0)22-8498 404

Drug patents under the spotlight
Sharing practical knowledge about pharmaceutical patents

Pascale Boulet
Christopher Garrison
Ellen 't Hoen

Laura Hakoköngäs

This report was published with financial support from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Special thanks to
Orn Bunjumnong, Carlos Correa, Achara Eksaengsri, Krisana Kraisintu, James Love, Fernanda Macedo, Sisule Fredrick Musungu, Daniel Berman, Ingrid Cox, Julia Double, Seco Gérard, Bernard Pécoul and all the individuals who helped us gather the information contained in this report

Design/artwork Twenty 3 Crows Ltd, UK

Printing SRO-Kundig, Geneva

Printed on 100% recycled chlorine free paper

© Médecins Sans Frontières May 2003

Photo: © Remco Bohle


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Le Portail d'information - Médicaments essentiels et produits de santé a été conçu et est maintenu par l'ONG Human Info. Dernière mise à jour: le 29 octobre 2018