The Legal Duel: The TRIPS Agreement and Drug Access Issues
Increased patent protection required by the TRIPS has had an impact on access to essential medicines, especially in the developing world. The extent to which such countries can use the flexibilities in the Agreement to promote access to medicines is not clear. This thesis examines whether the TRIPS does actually impede access to medicines.
This thesis discusses the flexibilities built into the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights that are relevant for ensuring access to and availability of new medicines for the treatment of life-threatening diseases. Using Kenyan and Indian patent laws as case studies, the thesis examines the experience these countries have had in making use of the flexibilities. The thesis concludes that besides the TRIPS flexibilities, the resolution of the problem of access to medicines requires a concrete and a potent mix of country specific non-IP strategies. To test the hypotheses advanced in it, the thesis applies descriptive, qualitative and quantitative methodologies as well as interpretive analysis of court cases.