Affordability of Medicines, Public Health and TRIPS Regime: A Comparative Analysis
Price regulation in the pharmaceutical sector is an important instrument of public policy for promoting equity in access to health care. The kinds of drugs that would be left under price control are mostly irrelevant to public health. The issue of drugs has shifted from the realm of health to the realm of trade—a situation made worse by the rise of multinational pharmaceuticals that are trying to control and own knowledge in the name of intellectual property rights. In reality, the provisions under the Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement undermine some of the very processes that helped India become one of the leading countries in drug manufacturing with some of the lowest prices in the world.