Equitable access to pharmaceuticals, particularly for developing countries is an essential human right. This proposal addresses three ways of accomplishing this. The first is how academic licensing practices under socially responsible stewardship can ensure that future drugs that have resulted from inventive activity in academia will be available at low cost with improved access in the future.
Secondly we will research thoroughly how existing public-private or product-development partnerships are addressing the issue of altruistic development of drugs for relatively neglected populations with unmet health needs and the lessons they have for future drug development. Lastly it addresses the current state and future improvements in compulsory licensing legislative instruments to enable access through generic manufacture of patented drugs. The three routes to access have several significant aspects of overlap which provide for complementary approaches and solutions to access.
Various complex impediments hinder access, which is the subject of ongoing multidisciplinary studies. Amongst these, the price of medicines that could otherwise be affordable for developing countries is partly influenced by patent protection, particularly in the wake of new norms under the Agreement on Trade Related Aspect of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).
We aim to study the problem of access and affordability, of pharmaceuticals and offer solutions. The evaluated solutions include the responsible management of intellectual property and development of health technologies by public funded organisations and product development partnerships, and the efficient use of TRIPS flexibilities in the compulsory licensing of pharmaceuticals.
We expect to have collected, through stakeholder engagement and analytical research, a comprehensive set of case studies, best practices, experiences and views of the use of various legal and policy instruments available in order to effectively enhance access to essential pharmaceuticals and health technologies.
Our results will inform policymakers, interested stakeholders such as product development partnerships, technology managers in research organisations and the pharmaceutical industry, and civil society in general on creative ways forward in managing intellectual property in a manner that benefits developing countries in their quest for obtaining equitable access to health technologies.