Intellectual Property and Health in Developing Countries

Jean Tirole

in Understanding Poverty

Published in print May 2006 | ISBN: 9780195305197
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199783519 | DOI:
 Intellectual Property and Health in Developing Countries

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This essay focuses on the impact of intellectual property rights (IPRs) on low- and middle-income countries’ health care. There are two different reasons why poor countries may not have access to needed vaccines and drugs. In the case of global diseases, such as diabetes or cancer, patents may hinder the diffusion of pharmaceuticals. In the case of neglected or tropical diseases, such as malaria, tuberculosis, and leishmaniasis, the corresponding vaccines or drugs are not developed because of low profitability due to the poverty of potential customers. The important role of compulsory licensing for low- and middle-income countries is discussed.

Keywords: compulsory licensing; IPR; global diseases; tropical diseases; prize mechanism; global social contract

Chapter.  6775 words. 

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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