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Patents and the Trans-Pacific Partnership: How TPP-style intellectual property standards may exacerbate the access to medicines problem in the East African Community

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Least developed countries (LDCs) generally enjoy some exemptions under the WTO TRIPS Agreement. Despite these exemptions, patents continue to pose a major challenge to access to affordable medicines in the East African Community (EAC), especially with respect to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The EAC is a regional economic bloc made up of six states, with five of the member states currently ranked as LDCs by the United Nations. This article argues that the implementation of the patent protection standards following the model adopted in the Trans-Pacific Partnership is likely to further exacerbate the access to medicines conundrum of the EAC.
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Keywords: Access to medicines; intellectual property; international trade; pharmaceutical patents

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Graduate School of Business and Law, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia 2: Department of Business Law, Faculty of Law, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria 3: School of Law, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Scotland

Publication date: March 4, 2019

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