Patents on Pharmaceutical Products in Fair International Economic Relations

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Intellectual property right (IPR) negotiations during the Uruguay Round (UR) negotiations were characterized by significant disagreement between developed and developing countries. For developing countries, the WTO system might have gone too far on patents. It is particularly true for essential medicines critical to human life and health. The Agreement on Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) of the WTO includes a few provisions on special and differential treatment (SDT) of developing countries. However, these do not specifically mention pharmaceutical products. Patentability of pharmaceutical products may be analysed in light of fairness. From the viewpoint of distributional fairness, this article derives several policy suggestions for pharmaceutical products in fair international economic relations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-268
Number of pages20
JournalPerspectives on Global Development and Technology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands.


  • WTO
  • distributional fairness
  • patents
  • pharmaceutical products


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