Posted: May 25th, 2022
Case Analysis: Pharma, Intellectual Property
Prior to 2003, the U.S. pharmaceutical industry heavily restricted intellectual property rights that would allow African countries and others ravaged by AIDS to receive generic medicine
There are a great deal of shocking statistics regarding the global populations living with and dying from AIDS, particularly in the age group of 15 — 19
Health is a factors that is considered relative to a country’s wealth; in Africa, a continent that is rich in natural resources, yet those resources are not controlled by the indigenous peoples, the number of people with AIDS is yet another way that Africa’s extreme poverty demonstrates itself
Most of the people in the world who died from AIDS annually, are those from the southern parts of Africa
Pharmaceutical treatments are not cheap or instantaneous; the industry booms and will continue to do so for years to come because of the nature of the treatments and economies
Intellectual property rights and other forms of copyright are central to the control the pharmaceutical industry exudes over countries around the world who buy from them or are forced because of restrictions or poverty to resort to other options to acquire imported drugs of equal or lesser quality.
Pharmaceutical corporations continue to spend great sums upon marketing and publicity; they additionally continue to resist or otherwise criticize efforts to make drugs cheap, affordable, and/or free.
In the early 21st century, there were a number of initiatives started to combat AIDS and provide affordable treatment to the poorest countries, including the Global Fund.
2. Three main issues
AIDS is a global concern.
The United States government and pharmaceutical industry are key players in the control over Intellectual Property Rights, copyrights, distribution, and pricing of AIDS medications.
The WTO is another significant organization with influence regarding the duration and stipulations of patents and copyrights.
3. International management and business topics
Supply and demand
Non-profit organizations vs. Corporations
Collective action, activism, and government ordinance
4. There is a lot of demand for AIDS medicine therefore the cost of the supply can fluctuate based on the industry’s long-term goals and objectives. NPOs and corporations have been at times, at odds and at times, collaborative with respect to combating AIDS. Citizens, NPOs, and governments have all make substantial efforts to resolve the AIDS problem.
5. Pharmaceuticals do not necessarily have a responsibility to make drugs low cost in developing countries. It certainly would make sense and be humane to do so, but they do not have some kind of responsibility. Make the drugs low cost and available gives companies more opportunities for more revenue and revenue for longer. The drugs do not necessary have to be free, but affordable relative to the location and the population in need. Periodic donations are another possible alternative. It is not likely these companies will ever make the drugs entirely free in a place or in the world. Capitalism is far too widespread for that to occur.
Shah, Anup. “Pharmaceutical Companies and AIDS.” Global Issues: Social, Political, Economic and Environmental Issues That Affect Us All, Web, Available from: http://www.globalissues.org/article/53/pharmaceutical-corporations-and-aids. 2013 February 18.
UNAIDS. “2002 Report on the Global HIV / AIDS Epidemic.” Provided.
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