Patents and health: a raw deal in Cancún?
In a fortnight, World Trade Organisation (WTO) members will meet in Cancún, Mexico, at the most significant set of talks for two years. On the agenda is a discussion of the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), and its impact on public health, in particular the availability of cheap drugs.
Negotiations on this issue stalled last December when the United States failed to agree on a text presented by the TRIPS Council. Developing countries have made clear that this outstanding issue must be resolved before the Mexico meeting.
But in this article, Aileen Kwa of the Bangkok-based Focus on the Global South warns that even if the December text is agreed to, it still offers a raw deal to developing countries, and would result in a "host of legal and bureaucratic red tape".