Development Agendas in a Changing World
Edited by Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz and Pedro Roffe
Chapter 8: The Ability to Utilize TRIPS Flexibilities in Sub-Saharan African Countries
Tenu Avafia, Jonathan Berger and Trudi Hartzenberg1 INTRODUCTION As of December 2006, an estimated 39.5 million people were living with HIV/AIDS globally.2 Sub-Saharan African countries remain the worst affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic with 63 per cent of global HIV/AIDS cases (approximately 24.7 million people) occurring in this region that is home to 10 per cent of the world’s population (see Table 8.1).3 By the end of December 2006, only 1.04 million people were receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) in Africa despite the fact that 4.6 million Africans were already in need of ART by the end of 2005.4 One of the major challenges faced by health systems is accessibility and availability of good quality medicines in general and medicines for HIV/AIDS in particular. According to a recent study, Africa’s share of the global pharmaceutical market amounted to only US$ 46.4 billion of sales in a global market where US$ 602 billion of sales occurred in 2006.5 Challenges of access to ARV treatments and other essential medicines in the African continent are multifaceted and include: (i) limited public financing; (ii) high prices; (iii) trade laws and patents; (iv) reliance on importation of the drugs as well as raw materials; (v) limited health-care expertise; and (vi) technological and other health-care delivery constraints. As public health instruments, the importance of the World Trade Organization (WTO) 2001 Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement (Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) and Public Health (Doha Declaration), together with the WTO General Council 30 August Decision...
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