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Patents, pills and public health

Poverty and lack of access to healthcare are closely linked. Today, a third of the world's population has no means of obtaining essential medicines; a figure that rises to half in the poorest countries of Africa and Asia.

Under the World Trade Organization, legislation on drug patenting is being implemented by its 144 member countries as part of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement.

This report examines the pros and cons of the TRIPS agreement for the developing world, outlining different ways of ensuring access to essential drugs for all, including the poorest.

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Patents, pills and public health (234kb)