Patent Policy

SouthViews No. 121, 12 November 2015

The grant of patents and the exorbitant cost of “lifesaving” drugs

By Germán Velásquez

The important relationship between the examination of patents carried out by national patent offices and the right of citizens to access to medicines hasn’t always been well understood. Too often these are viewed as unrelated functions or responsibilities of the state. And the reason is clear: patentability requirements are not defined by patent offices, but frequently by the courts, tribunals, legislation or treaty negotiators. This is the case when patent policy is implemented in isolation from, rather than guided by, public health policy. (more…)

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