Intellectual Property Rights and the Potential for Universal Access to Treatment: TRIPS, ACTA and HIV/AIDS Medicines

Adrian G Flint, Jill R Payne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Where HIV/AIDS is concerned the twin goals of ‘zero new infections’ and an ‘AIDS-free generation’ are now, due to advances in treatment (and treatment as prevention), a realistic possibility. However, these goals can only be achieved through the scaling-up of treatment to the point of universal access. It is inevitable that the success of any scaling-up will be predicated on cost, particularly of HIV/AIDS medicines. This article argues that recent changes in the global intellectual property landscape—effected by way of bilaterally-and plurilaterally-negotiated trade agreements initiated by developed countries— jeopardise the target of universal access. Enhanced protection of international intellectual property rights increasingly poses a threat to the development of, and international trade in, generic medicines. Unless developing countries move to reinvigorate moribund multilateral institutions, particularly the WTO, they will lose control of the intellectual property agenda, and thus the ability to impose an alternative vision regarding universal access.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)500-515
Number of pages15
JournalThird World Quarterly
Volume34
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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