Chapter

Background of the Debate

Holger Hestermeyer

in Human Rights and the WTO

Published in print August 2008 | ISBN: 9780199552177
Published online January 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191706936 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199552177.003.0001

Series: International Economic Law Series

 Background of the Debate

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This chapter discusses the facts that called attention to the conflict between the TRIPS Agreement and access to medicine. The public discussion was initially triggered by the pricing decision of the patent holder of the first AIDS medicine AZT. It took on global proportions when the pharmaceutical industry sued the South African government that wanted to impose compulsory licences for patents on pharmaceuticals to provide its population with cheap AIDS medication. The chapter also recounts the events surrounding the anthrax attacks in the United States, when the Canadian and US governments threatened to break Bayer's patent on Cipro.

Keywords: TRIPS Agreement; access to medicine; international patents; AZT; South Africa; AIDS; Anthrax; Cipro

Chapter.  9506 words. 

Subjects: Human Rights and Immigration

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