Pharmaceutical Patents and Monopolistic Pricing

South Africa’s struggle to increase access to anti-retroviral medications decades ago focused attention on the relationship between patent protection and high medicine prices. The COVID-19 pandemic has drawn greater attention to the cost of pharmaceutical technologies and the inequitable access to these.

Globally this has raised concerns about the impact of the 1994 World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), which outlines the global minimum standards for the protection of intellectual property (IP). The implications of this agreement are beginning to be debated and waivers to this agreement are being proposed. This webinar will cover the aspects of pharmaceutical patents and monopolistic pricing and the shortcomings of these. It will highlight areas of concern and lessons we need to take forward to ensure equitable access in the future.

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