Effects of the Patent System on International Laws and Agreements on the Right to Medication

Dr. Mohammad Habhab

Associate Professor – Criminal Law – Faculty of Law – University of Lebanon


In 2015 the United Nations set the 2030 Sustainable Development Plan, and among its goals was to ensure universal health coverage for the individual and the need to obtain health care services (the third goal), given that the right to health indicates respect for the individual’s physical and mental safety and contributes to building the ability to participate and contribute in the community.
In this context, the Agreement on Commercial Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) contributed to the provision of protection for patents in international industries, as it imposed obligations on member states to respect its content that was naturally compatible with the rights of pharmaceutical companies, which negatively affects the human right of easy access to medication due to the “legitimate” monopoly of these companies.
The human right to health is one of the human rights recognized by international law, and to preserve this right, every country must secure the means for that, which is medicine. Hence the importance of research by raising some questions about the standards adopted by developing countries during the transfer of the provisions of the TRIPS Agreement within the framework of their domestic laws, and whether they have been able to achieve a balance between protecting intellectual property as a national interest and an international commitment and achieving the interests of its citizens and their rights to health.
Therefore, we will use the descriptive and analytical approach in this research to present the experiences of some countries in the field of medicine industry and the policies they followed, to analyze whether other countries, specifically developing countries, can emulate them, and to analyze and study national laws and international agreements related to the subject, especially the TRIPS Agreement to create a possible harmonization between the human right of access to medicine and the protection of manufacturers rights.

Keywords: right to health care, right to treatment, human rights, intellectual property, medicine industry.

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