The WTO, Pharmaceutical Patents and Development The North-South Politics of Global Health
Mon 2.2.2015 at 10:00-12:00
While references to a "North-South” divide often seem dated, one area with intense conflict along these lines remains global health, and in particular issues related to pharmaceutical patents. This lecture will shed light on these enduring sources of conflict. It will explain why pharmaceutical patents are the subject of so much conflict, looking in detail at the history of pharmaceutical patenting in developed and developing countries, explaining how rules on patents became integrated into the international trade system with the WTO’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). The lecture discusses the politics of TRIPS implementation in developing countries, drawing attention to the important transitional dimensions: while we are no longer living in the pre-TRIPS world of pharmaceuticals not being patented in developing countries, we are not yet living fully in the TRIPS-inspired world of universal pharmaceutical patenting. Given this new global landscape, what are the challenges - immediate and on the horizon - that the TRIPS agreement poses for global health? This question is addressed with reference to the treatment of infectious diseases (e.g. HIV/AIDS), non-infectious chronic diseases (e.g. cancer, hypertension), and "neglected” tropical diseases.
Speaker: Kenneth Shadlen, Professor of Development Studies, London School of Economics
Dr. Shadlen is Professor of Development Studies at the London School of Economics, Associate Fellow at the Institute of the Americas, University College London, and Senior Research Fellow at the Global Development and Environment Institute, Tufts University. He is also Managing Editor of the Journal of Development Studies.
Comments: Meri Koivusalo, Senior Researcher, National Institute for Health and Welfare
Dr. Koivusalo is Senior Researcher in the National Institute for Health and Welfare and Docent in international health policy at the University of Tampere. She has participated in international health policy processes concerning health, trade and innovation policy issues as an expert for the World Health Organization as well as published widely on the links between health and trade issues.
Chair: Mikael Wigell, Senior Research Fellow, the Finnish Institute of International Affairs
Summary of the seminar:
The seminar was opened by its chair Dr
Mikael Wigell who welcomed the speakers and audience and stressed the
importance of the topic.