Pharmaceutical Companies, Intellectual Property Essay

922 Words Sep 29th, 2013 4 Pages
Case Study #1
“Pharmaceutical Companies, Intellectual Property, and the Global AIDS Epidemic”
Questions for Review: 1. 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? What are the advantages and disadvantages of giving drugs for free versus offering them at low no-profit prices?
-I don’t necessarily think that they have the “responsibility” to do so but I think that they should want to as there are millions dying and suffering tremendously from this epidemic. Pharmaceutical companies make billions and billions of dollars a year, I feel that they should want to help people who can’t help themselves.
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What are the arguments by NGOs and others for relaxing IPR laws?
-Some of the arguments are that the pharmaceutical companies that oppose making exceptions to IPR laws for developing countries is that if other countries were producing generic brands they would no longer be able to compete and make large profits. The principal argument of NGO and others is that they cannot afford the brand name prices; because of the morality rights the rights of these people should be protected. Since they cannot afford these brands, IPR laws have changed in the favor of these people. These laws have allowed the production of generic brands which are much more affordable.

3. What impact would you expect South Africa’s decision to levy duties on drug imports from Western nations to have on the international distribution of drugs to South Africa?
-The impact that I would expect would be an increase in the import cost and also an increase in the price of the drug. With the price increase the people in Africa will not be purchasing. By increasing the import cost and prices of drugs this then decrease the demand. By increasing tariff’s this denies millions of sick people access to what they need.

4. In June 2002, the WTO extended the transition period during which least-developed countries (LDCs) had to provide patent protection for pharmaceuticals. In your opinion, was this an appropriate change in

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