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To What Extent Does the Current Drug Patent System Need to Be Reformed?

Autor:   •  December 17, 2012  •  Essay  •  1,011 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,020 Views

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To what extent does the current Drug Patent System need to be reformed?

There has been much discussion of the Medical Patent System and the pharmaceutical industry. Many discussions are concentrated on whether the Medical Patent System should be reformed. Medical Patent System is consisted by pharmaceutical aspect of TRIPS, Doha Declaration and the so-called TRIPS-PLAUS agreements. Medical Patent can be defined as a patent that give the inventor of the medicine the legal right to sell the medicine for 20 years and prevent anyone else form producing and selling it. The Medical Patent System has caused many problems and seems like a serious threat to fundamental rights of poor people in developing countries. However, the system still got some kind of balance between the consumers especially the poor in the developing countries and the drug companies. This essay will attempt to illustrate that the current Drug Patent System should not to be reformed.

One problem caused by the Drug Patent System is the high prices which made the poor people have no access to drugs. The patent usually means monopoly. The current system gives the inventors who are usually the drug companies exclusive legal right to sell the drugs for 20 years. In order to gain the most profits, the drug companies are permitted a higher price by their exclusive right because there is no competitor who could provide a lower price. As a result, consumers especially the poor people in developing countries without social welfare cannot afford the drugs. When the poor people are suffering from some kind of deadly disease and cannot buy the drugs they need, the high price becomes the killer and the fundamental rights of the poor people are badly damaged.

One effective solution provided by the current Drug Patent System to this high-price problem is generic drugs. Generic drugs is almost the same drug as the patent one and can be produced after the patent is expired. The generic drugs are much cheaper than original drugs and they can decrease the price of original drugs through the competition. In 2001, the “Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health” has been introduced to the public which asserted the TRIPS Agreement should not prevent member countries from protecting public health. The Doha Declaration in fact permitted the using of generic drugs in developing countries. Generic drugs can solve the high-price problem effectively and the generic drugs which we can already produce can heal most of the diseases in developing countries.

Another widely believed problem of the Drug Patent System is about the so-called TRIPS PLUS. TRIPS PLUS is a kind of bilateral and regional free trade agreement which introduced by the USA government and the purpose of the TRIPS PLUS is to prevent developing counties from using generic drugs. The TRIPS PLUS contains threats of trade sanctions and influences


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