How Patent Laws Have Hurt Fight Against HIV/AIDS and How You Think They Should Be Changed.
Patent laws have physical as well as economic hindrances to the fight against HIV/AIDS. Anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs) help in prolonging the lives of individuals who have HIV/AIDS. Patent laws on ARVs restrict the freedom of producing the drugs and raise the treatment cost, deterring the majority of the patients from acquiring this treatment.
Patent laws have limited the number of countries and firms that produce ARVs; hence, not all patients receive these important drugs. The global artificial shortage of ARVs also raises their prices in all nations. Moreover, in nations that do not produce the drug, treatment of HIV/AIDS becomes very expensive because of importation expenditures, for instance, transportation costs, shipping charges, as well as insurance. Consequently, ARV treatment has become costly for many HIV/AIDS patients (Hoen n.p).
The ban on patent laws on ARVs will permit more firms as well as governments in affected nations to produce ARVs for HIV/AIDS patients. The prohibition will also enable universal supply of ARVs, as they will be distributed to all parts of the world. This process will prevent artificial shortages, raise price competition, and reduce ARV drug prices. Reduced treatment charges will enable all patients to access ARV treatment (Hoen n.p).
The best way of reducing the shortage of HIV/AIDS drugs is by compelling competition between the generic producers. This process cannot be possible if a drug is governed by patent with a patent owner that is not ready to accept competition. Lack of competition results in higher prices. Thus, governments can ignore patents and permit generic manufacture using obligatory licensing. However, they should adhere to particular measures which include bargaining with the patent-holder and permitting petition of a government’s decision.
Hoen, Ellen’T., et al. “Driving a decade of change: HIV/AIDS, patents and access to medicines for all.” Journal of the International AIDS Society 14.1 (2011): 15.