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Fatal side effects: medicine patents under the microscope

This report was produced by the Policy Department of Oxfam (Great Britain) as part of its ‘Cut the Cost of Medicines’ Campaign. Oxfam argues that governments must amend global patent rules to ensure that impoverished people have access to the medicines at prices they can afford.

The report gives an overview of the WTO patent rules and Oxfam’s concerns; describes the health crisis in developing countries; examines the effect of patents both on the price of medicines and on pharmaceutical research and development; explores the issue of biopiracy; looks at what action governments and private companies might take; and considers the politics of patent rules.

The report’s recommendations focus on TRIPS reform and on the need for rich countries and trans-national companies to "stop harassing developing countries on patent issues". They also cover the need for public funding for research into new medicines, and the role that industry could play in making medicines affordable.

(Various briefing notes, position statements and research papers are also available from this website.)

 

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