In developing countries, access to affordable medicines for the treatment of diseases such as AIDS and malaria remains a matter of life or death. In Africa, for instance, more than one million children die each year from malaria alone, a figure which could soon be far higher with the extension of patent rules for pharmaceuticals. Previously, access to essential medicines was made possible by the supply of much cheaper generics, manufactured largely by India; from 2005, however, the availability of these drugs is threatened as new WTO rules take effect. Halting the spread of malaria and HIV/AIDS is one of the eight Millennium Goals adopted at the UN Millennium Summit, which makes this a timely and topical book. Informed analysis is provided by internationally renowned contributors who look at the post-2005 world and discuss how action may be taken to ensure that intellectual property regimes are interpreted and implemented in a manner supportive to the right to protect public health and, in particular, to promote access to medicines for all.
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Pedro Roffe is a senior fellow at ICTSD and director of the TRIPS and Development capacity-building project. Geoff Tansey is an independent writer and consultant. He has worked extensively in developing countries for the Department for International Development, Oxfam and the UN, and was recently appointed a Visionary for a Just and Peaceful World by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust. David Vivas-Eugui is Programme Manager at ICTSD and specialises in intellectual property rights.
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