Pharmaceutical Companies, Intellectual Property, and the Global Aids Epidemic
In this case study I was asked six question the first one was,Do pharmaceutical companies have a responsibility to distribute drugs for free or at low cost in developing countries? What are the main arguments for and against such an approach?
While this case is literally full of negative aspects, we will only focus on the main points for both arguments. Pharmaceutical companies want to be sure that the products they spend years and millions of dollars to create are not easily reproduced and sold at discount prices. The profits pharmaceuticals make of their patented products are supposed to refinance new research. So taking away their exclusive distribution rights and allowing other manufacturers to just copy the product and sell it at
…show more content…
There is a significant risk of the discounted drugs beiThere is a lot of discussion about pharmaceutical companies, intellectual property, and the global AIDS epidemic. Do pharmaceutical companies have a responsibility to distribute drugs for free or low cost in developing countries? Why is intellectual property such a big deal? What impact would South Africa’s decision to levy duties on drugs in the country have on the international distribution of drugs? Was the change that provided patent protection for pharmaceutical companies an appropriate change or a dangerous precedent? Was it necessary to relax intellectual property rules in order to ensure that adequate supplies of AIDs medications would be available for distribution in the developing world? What role to multi-national corporations have in providing funding or other assistance to international organizations such as the Global Fund? All these questions have many arguments for and against but the right answers probably lie somewhere in between. Having and providing access to affordable medication is one of the greatest challenges we face today. Many people see the pharmaceutical companies as socially irresponsible. The evidence is in the outrageous prices individuals have to pay for medications. Although I don’t like high priced medications I do believe in the right for a business who has the