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Intellectual Property Rights

Innovation, Governance and the Institutional Environment

Edited by Birgitte Andersen

Intellectual Property Rights is cutting edge in addressing current debates affecting businesses, industry sectors and society today, and in focusing not only on the enabling welfare effects of IPR systems, but also on some of the possible adverse effects of IPR systems.
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Chapter 3: AIDS, TRIPS and ‘TRIPS Plus’. The Case for Developing and Less Developed Countries

Fabienne Orsi, Mamadou Camara and Benjamin Coriat


3. AIDS, TRIPS and ‘TRIPS plus’: the case for developing and less developed countries Fabienne Orsi, Mamadou Camara and Benjamin Coriat ABSTRACT The signing of the TRIPS Agreement in 1995 (as part of the WTO Agreement) provoked a radical change in the healthcare situation of the poorest countries. It obliged these countries to comply with the intellectual property rights (IPR) legislation in force in the Northern countries. It ended a situation in which the poorest countries were able either to produce generic drugs locally or to import them at a low price. Given the development of the AIDS epidemic, the consequences of this agreement were dramatic. In this chapter, we shall examine the situation created by TRIPS in the Frenchspeaking countries of Sub-Saharan Africa. In this zone (where AIDS has struck most severely) the application of TRIPS, combined with existing regional IPR agreements (known as the Bangui Agreements), has created a legal situation particularly prejudicial to healthcare. Keywords: countries IPR, WTO, Generic drugs, Public Health, Sub-Saharan 1 INTRODUCTION The World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement (TRIPS), signed in 1994, marked a turning point in public health, especially in the developing countries. By instituting a unique IPR regime for drugs on an international scale, closely copied from the regime existing in the most developed countries, TRIPS has created an additional series of barriers to access to treatment in the poorest countries. 70 AIDS, TRIPS and ‘TRIPS plus’ 71 This situation has provoked fierce debate and been...

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