Tripping Over Health: U.S. Policy on Patents and Drug Access in Developing Countries
Publication Date: November 2008
Publisher(s): Center for Global Development
Keywords: Presidential transition; Drug Patents
Coverage: United States
This White House and the World Policy Brief presents key facts and recommendations drawn from Chapter Eight of The White House and the World: A Global Development Agenda for the Next U.S. President.
The United States can play an important role in promoting global development while simultaneously advancing American interests and prosperity. Intellectual property (IP) rights, such as patents and copyrights, provide protection against unauthorized copying and are therefore fundamental to creating a policy environment conducive for innovation. But this protection creates challenges for developing countries by limiting access to needed products and by misaligning incentives for innovation. The next U.S. president should come down clearly in favor of a new policy that better balances public health needs in developing countries with private incentives for innovative activities.