chapter  9
21 Pages

Patents and Medicines

The link between medical patents and the human right to health has become a subject of central concern at the international level, as exemplified by the debates at the 2001 World Trade Organization (WTO) ministerial conference.1 International attention to the issue has focused in large part on the HIV/AIDS crisis and the question of access to drugs for patients in developing countries, which are the most severely affected by the epidemic.2 The issue of access to drugs is acute in the case of HIV/AIDS but is of general concern in most developing countries.