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Proceedings of the British Academy, Volume 131, 2004 Lectures$
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P. J. Marshall

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780197263518

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197263518.001.0001

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Patents and Public Health: Principle, Politics and Paradox

Patents and Public Health: Principle, Politics and Paradox

British Academy Law Lecture

Chapter:
(p.331) Patents and Public Health: Principle, Politics and Paradox
Source:
Proceedings of the British Academy, Volume 131, 2004 Lectures
Author(s):

Edwin Cameron

Jonathan Berger

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197263518.003.0012

This lecture discusses how patent protection has been used in order to limit access to essential medicines. It considers how patents can be justified and shows how and why the ‘principle of balance’ has been subverted by the discourse of property rights. This principle lies at the heart of patent protection. The lecture concludes with a consideration of the Declaration on the TRIPs agreement and public health, which is also known as the Doha Declaration. It also presents an analysis of the inaction on the part of developing country governments, which have largely failed to take advantage of the breakthrough achieved at Doha.

Keywords:   patent protection, essential medicines, justifying patents, principle of balance, property rights, Doha Declaration

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