The Political Economy of HIV/AIDS in Developing Countries
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The Political Economy of HIV/AIDS in Developing Countries

TRIPS, Public Health Systems and Free Access

Edited by Benjamin Coriat

The book is based on original data and field studies from Brazil, Thailand, India and Sub-Saharan Africa. Focusing on the issue of universal and free access to treatment (a goal now taken to heart by the international community), it assesses the progress made and presents a rigorous diagnosis of the obstacles that remain, especially the constraints imposed by TRIPS and the poor state of most public health systems in Southern countries. In so doing, the book renews our understanding of the political economy of HIV/AIDS in these vast regions, where it continues to spread with devastating social and economic consequences.
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Chapter 1: New Antiretroviral Treatments and Post-2005 TRIPS Constraints: First Moves Towards IP Flexibilization in Developing Countries

Cristina d’Almeida, Lia Hasenclever, Gaëlle Krikorian, Cassandra Sweet, Benjamin Coriat and Fabienne Orsi


1. New antiretroviral treatments and post-2005 TRIPS constraints: first moves towards IP flexibilization in developing countries Cristina d’Almeida, Lia Hasenclever, Gaëlle Krikorian, Fabienne Orsi, Cassandra Sweet and Benjamin Coriat* In many respects, the period since 2005 marks a watershed in international HIV/AIDS policy. The situation is marked by a strong contradiction. On the one hand, this period is characterized by the implementation, at international level, of scaling-up policies for increasing access to ARV treatments largely sponsored by international donors. On the other hand, it also marks (since 1 January 2005) the end of the transition period allowed to southern countries for TRIPS compliance; in practical terms, this means that these countries are entering a period of much tighter constraint in the field of intellectual property rights, entailing, in particular, the fact that the production (or import) of low-cost generics is no longer possible except by means of exceptional measures. The paradox of these two contrary shifts places southern countries in a situation of extreme tension, leading some of them to resort to the use of the ‘flexibilities’ contained in the TRIPS agreement. As a result, we have witnessed an unprecedented situation in terms of drug procurement strategies at a national level. This chapter is dedicated to a presentation of this new frame of action and the tensions and contradictions running through it. The aim is twofold: to specify the new characteristics of the era we have just entered and at the same time to present the strategies adopted by...

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