Global Trade Limitations to HIV Medication Access in Developing Countries


International trade and patent laws pose monetary and logistical challenges to all countries affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic in their abilities to access the most current and effective treatments. The development of international patent law applicable to medications has undergone significant changes since the 1990’s under The Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) established by the World Trade Organization (WTO). Case studies of China, India and Brazil’s implementation of pharmaceutical patent protection reveal the limitations of TRIPS and its subsequently recognized flexibilities. Although the goal of these flexibilities is to allow for greater access to medications, they fall short in reaching the universally accepted goal of a right to health.

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