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Excessive prices and access to medicines – Compulsory licensing as an anticompetitive remedy under the TRIPS Agreement

Kianzad, Behrang LU (2015) JURM02 20151
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Att säkra tillgång till patentskyddade medicinska produkter, särskilt livsnödvändiga läkemedel rörande HIV/AIDS och andra epidemiska sjukdomar, har varit i fokus för en global juridisk debatt under många år. Denna debatt intensifierades ytterligare efter tillkomsten av TRIPS-avtalet och den globala verkställigheten av immaterialrätter såsom patent genom Världshandelsorganisationen (WTO).

Många NGOs och utvecklingsländer fruktade att tillgången till mediciner skulle försämras ytterligare, eftersom man nu kunde agera mot generiska mediciner samt parallellimport. Doha Deklarationen om TRIPS och folkhälsa i 2001 samt det därpå följande Beslutet den 30 augusti 2003 sökte besvara dessa farhågor genom utfärdandet av vad som kommit att bli... (More)
Att säkra tillgång till patentskyddade medicinska produkter, särskilt livsnödvändiga läkemedel rörande HIV/AIDS och andra epidemiska sjukdomar, har varit i fokus för en global juridisk debatt under många år. Denna debatt intensifierades ytterligare efter tillkomsten av TRIPS-avtalet och den globala verkställigheten av immaterialrätter såsom patent genom Världshandelsorganisationen (WTO).

Många NGOs och utvecklingsländer fruktade att tillgången till mediciner skulle försämras ytterligare, eftersom man nu kunde agera mot generiska mediciner samt parallellimport. Doha Deklarationen om TRIPS och folkhälsa i 2001 samt det därpå följande Beslutet den 30 augusti 2003 sökte besvara dessa farhågor genom utfärdandet av vad som kommit att bli känt som Paragraf 6-systemet, som betonar de flexibla möjligheterna som finns i TRIPS-avtalet, och medlemsstaternas möjligheter att bemöta folkhälsoproblemen.

Trots att mycket av debatten fokuserat på spänningen mellan å ena sidan ett starkt skydd för immaterialrätter och patenträttigheter, och mänskliga rättigheter och rätten till hälsa å andra sidan, har mindre fokus riktats på oskäliga priser rörande patentskyddade mediciner, såsom utgörande av konkurrensbegränsande metoder, trots de möjligheter som finns i den riktningen i TRIPS-avtalet.

Även om stora skillnader i såväl praxis som doktrin existerar mellan EU och USA rörande omfattningen av ingripande och definition av vad som kan utgöra ”oskäligt” och hur, argumenterar detta examensarbete för de möjligheter som finns för utvecklingsländer genom tillgripande av konkurrensrätten. Examensarbetet drar slutsatsen att ett betraktande av oskäliga priser rörande patenterade mediciner som en konkurrensbegränsande metod enligt artikel 31(k) TRIPS skulle vara ett effektivt verktyg för att säkra tillgång till dessa läkemedel. (Less)
Abstract
The issue of securing access to patented pharmaceutical products, especially essential medicines in the field of HIV/AIDS and other epidemic diseases, has been in the forefront of global legal debate for many years. This debate intensified further following the enactment of the TRIPS agreement and the global enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights such as patents through the World Trade Organization.

Many NGOs and developing countries feared that access to medicines would be even further diminished, since generic medicines and parallel importation would be enforced against. The Doha Declaration on Public Health in 2001 and the subsequent August 30th Decision in 2003 sought to address these fears, through enactment of what came to... (More)
The issue of securing access to patented pharmaceutical products, especially essential medicines in the field of HIV/AIDS and other epidemic diseases, has been in the forefront of global legal debate for many years. This debate intensified further following the enactment of the TRIPS agreement and the global enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights such as patents through the World Trade Organization.

Many NGOs and developing countries feared that access to medicines would be even further diminished, since generic medicines and parallel importation would be enforced against. The Doha Declaration on Public Health in 2001 and the subsequent August 30th Decision in 2003 sought to address these fears, through enactment of what came to be known as a Paragraph 6 System, emphasizing the flexibilities entailed in the TRIPS agreement, and member countries’ possibilities to address public health issues.

Although much of the debate has been focused on the tension between strong Intellectual Property and patent protection on one hand, and Human Rights and Right to Health on the other hand, less attention has been focused on excessive prices of patented medicines as an anticompetitive practice, despite the flexibilities in this regard entailed in the TRIPS agreement.

Although diverging practices and doctrine exists between EU and US regarding scope of enforcement and definition of what would constitute “excessive” and how, this thesis argues that there is unlocked potential for many developing countries relying on competition law. The thesis concludes that treating excessive prices of patented medicines as an anti-competitive practice would indeed be an effective tool in securing access to those medicines, using the TRIPS Article 31(k). (Less)
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author
Kianzad, Behrang LU
supervisor
organization
course
JURM02 20151
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
immaterialrätt, Intellectual Property Law, Comparative Law, Law and Economics, Competition Law, Antitrust Law, Excessive Prices, Compulsory Licensing, TRIPS, WTO, Right to Health
language
English
id
5432497
date added to LUP
2015-06-11 14:11:27
date last changed
2018-05-07 12:44:02
@misc{5432497,
  abstract     = {The issue of securing access to patented pharmaceutical products, especially essential medicines in the field of HIV/AIDS and other epidemic diseases, has been in the forefront of global legal debate for many years. This debate intensified further following the enactment of the TRIPS agreement and the global enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights such as patents through the World Trade Organization. 

Many NGOs and developing countries feared that access to medicines would be even further diminished, since generic medicines and parallel importation would be enforced against. The Doha Declaration on Public Health in 2001 and the subsequent August 30th Decision in 2003 sought to address these fears, through enactment of what came to be known as a Paragraph 6 System, emphasizing the flexibilities entailed in the TRIPS agreement, and member countries’ possibilities to address public health issues. 

Although much of the debate has been focused on the tension between strong Intellectual Property and patent protection on one hand, and Human Rights and Right to Health on the other hand, less attention has been focused on excessive prices of patented medicines as an anticompetitive practice, despite the flexibilities in this regard entailed in the TRIPS agreement. 

Although diverging practices and doctrine exists between EU and US regarding scope of enforcement and definition of what would constitute “excessive” and how, this thesis argues that there is unlocked potential for many developing countries relying on competition law. The thesis concludes that treating excessive prices of patented medicines as an anti-competitive practice would indeed be an effective tool in securing access to those medicines, using the TRIPS Article 31(k).},
  author       = {Kianzad, Behrang},
  keyword      = {immaterialrätt,Intellectual Property Law,Comparative Law,Law and Economics,Competition Law,Antitrust Law,Excessive Prices,Compulsory Licensing,TRIPS,WTO,Right to Health},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Excessive prices and access to medicines – Compulsory licensing as an anticompetitive remedy under the TRIPS Agreement},
  year         = {2015},
}