Patent rights and essential medicines in developing countrie | 17939
International Research Journals

Patent rights and essential medicines in developing countries: is access compromised for innovation in Nigeria?


Kolawole, Abimbola Omolara Dahunsi

Globalization has turned the world into a global vil lage of interdependent countries linked by multilateral agreements like the ‘Trade Related asp ects of Intellectual Property rights (TRIPS) agreement’ of the ‘World Trade Organizations’ (WTO). This agreement which came into effect on 1 st January 1995 is applicable to all member countries of the WTO. The TRIPS agreement is expected to encourage new research and development into new pro ducts including essential drugs globally. However, there is concern in Low Income Countries ( LIC) and Low-Medium Income Countries (LMIC) that this agreement may further reduce the people’s access to much needed essential drugs. This may ultimately increase morbidity and mortality indices and will worsen their health and economic status and lead to under-development. This commentary seek s to debate this Health policy issue under the statements: “Patent rights are important for drug companies to i nduce innovation and research and development. Access to medicines is the problem of patients and governments” Finally, recommendations are made to guide Nigerian policy m akers.

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