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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 30-34

The Doha declaration in action: An examination of patent law flexibilities in the South African acquired immunodeficiency syndrome epidemic


1 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics; McGill International TB Center, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
2 McGill International TB Center; Department of Microbiology and Immunology, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
3 Faculty of Science, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
4 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
5 Department of Biology, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
6 Faculty of Law, McGill University, Montreal, Canada

Correspondence Address:
Sophie Huddart
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McGill University, 1020 Pine Ave West, Montreal, QC H3A 1A2
Canada
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DOI: 10.4103/2468-6360.198802

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Patent law flexibilities outlined in the Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights agreement make it possible for low-income nations to provide affordable essential medicine during health crises. During the rise of the human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) epidemic in South Africa, multinational pharmaceutical companies challenged the implementation of these flexibilities. In response to this lawsuit, the World Trade Organization enacted the Doha Declaration, an affirmation of the right of low-income nations to import and produce generic versions of patented essential medicines. This case study assesses the Doha Declaration's impact on access to HIV/AIDS treatment in South Africa by examining drug pricing, antiretroviral treatment coverage and drug licensing fees. The declaration ultimately contributed to the decrease in HIV/AIDS treatment costs and the subsequent increase in availability and affordability of life-saving drug regimens.


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