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Pharmaceutical access for excluded populations in the globe: The need for a special intellectual property rights framework

Mei-Ling Wang, PHD, MPH, Center of Global Health and Development, USP, 600 South 43rd Street, Philadelphia, PA PA19104, 2679717272, m.wang@usip.edu

Background: HIV infection in the globe has reached an epidemic level. Despite global actions to improve medical access, the excluded populations, such as the migrants, vulnerable gender groups, ethnic minorities, and rural villagers, are facing major barriers in HIV pharmaceutical access. The objectives of this project are: 1. analyzing global HIV pharmaceutical barriers for the excluded. 2. providing a special intellectual property (IPR) rights framework for the excluded.

Method: This project uses a meta policy content analysis to examine HIV-related pharmaceutical access for excluded populations in terms of 1. pharmaceutical-related IPR stipulations in global framework, especially in WTO and bilateral trade. 2. successful models, such as Brazil and Canada, in accessing ARVs for the excluded. 3. solutions for pharmaceutical access for the excluded in the globe.

Results 1. The excluded populations are facing major HIV high-risk in the globe . 2. Global policy and legal actions in protecting the excluded from HIV infection are not sufficient despite the effort of DOHA Declaration and August 30th decision. 3. The IPR stipulations in global trade, especially in WTO and FTA agreements, remain the major barriers for global excluded populations to access advanced ARVs. The price of ARVs is still beyond the reach of the excluded populations and the generics available to resource-poor countries limit the combination of cocktails. Conclusion: There should be a comprehensive package for improving the HIV care of the excluded populations, in which the human rights perspective should be the guiding principle. Specifically, 1. Global communities should develop a special intellectual property rights model for the excluded to access advanced ARVs. 2. Resource-poor countries should exercise its rights to use exempt mechanisms in existing global trade framework, such as compulsory licensing, to eliminate barriers to advanced ARVs. 3. Resource-poor countries should actively pursue, through various private-public partnership IPR arrangements, the ownership of the generics of advanced ARVs whose patents are near expiration.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Access

Related Web page: www.usip.edu/socialsciences/wang/index.htm

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Not Answered

Topics in HIV/AIDS I

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA