Public health innovation and intellectual property
Abstract1. The African Region carries the heaviest burden of noncommunicable and communicablediseases, including HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. Yet, more than 50% of the population inthe Region lack regular access to essential medicines. One among other factors limiting access tomedicines is high prices. Prices of patented medicines are particularly beyond the reach of themajority of the people in Africa. During the past decade, a growing international debateconcerning the wider aspects of the relationship between intellectual property rights, innovationand public health has been taking place against a backdrop of poverty reduction and improvingaccess to health care.2. WHO has a long-standing mandate in the area of trade, intellectual property rights andaccess to medicines. Besides, WHO together with the African Union, regional economiccommunities and other UN agencies has been supporting countries to increase their awarenessand build their capacities to effectively use public health safeguards that are contained under theTrade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights of the World Trade Organization.
Regional Committee for Africa, 57. (2011). Public health innovation and intellectual property. https://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/1816