Type of thesis
Master univ. I liv.
Pharmaceutical Companies and Human Rights: Access to Medicine Perspective
Istituto di Diritto, Politica e Sviluppo
Corsi Alta Formazione - MASTER IN HUMAN RIGHTS AND CONFLICT MANAGEMENT
relatore Dott.ssa VENIER, SILVIA
Tutor Dott. BENVENUTO, PAOLO
Tutor Dott. BENVENUTO, PAOLO
- access to medicines
- intellectual property rights
- pharmaceutical companies
- the right to health
Exam session start date
Two billion people in the world do not have access to essential medicines and vaccines, and it is well established that exorbitant pricing enabled by patents is one of the main reasons behind the inequity. Not being able to access essential healthcare including medicines and vaccines deprives the most vulnerable in the society from exercising their fundamental right to health. This thesis aims to determine the impact the intellectual property (IP) rights granted to pharmaceutical industry players, have on the right to health, specifically, it investigates whether the system of protection creates an obstacle on measures undertaken by public health authorities to establish a universal access to essential medicines and vaccines to everyone across the world in order to facilitate Social Development Goal (3) of ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages. To test the hypothesis that the high prices of essential medicines and vaccines results from Patent System that enable creation of monopoly power for few pharmaceutical companies, numerous literature materials have been reviewed and analyzed, as well as observing and studying materials based on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic vaccine availability and accessibility. The research and study found that the IP system enables the pharmaceutical companies to inflate the prices of medicines and vaccines, with little or no disclosure of vital information about the true cost of Research and Development (R&D), and in some cases public funded health R&D initiatives end up in private control, such system not only compromises the accessibility of the medicines and vaccines for billions through price exclusivity, but it also violates the mandate that require these organizations to respect the right to health. The finding suggest that although it is highly desirable to waive patents to effect unhindered access to essential medicines and vaccines, a waiver on its own will not be a guarantee to successful implementation. Therefore adopting a gradual initiative that involves devolving of research and development and increasing the global production capacity through established know-how methods transfer is of essence. And at the core of the strategy, new reward and incentive strategies must be established to ensure continuous improvement of research and development for novelty solutions in order to mitigate challenges and epidemics that face humanity.