While Thailand has been lauded by public health organizations and health advocates for these, the Office of the U. S. Trade Representative (USTR) in its 2007 annual review of trading partner’s intellectual property rules had elevated this country to the priority watch list for its issuance of three lawful compulsory licenses on two HIV/AIDS medicines and one heart disease medicine to be provided to the poor through the public health system (Rimmington). It has also cited twenty-one other developing countries in the report for not providing monopoly protection on pharmaceutical test data (Rimmington).
Oxfam International strongly believes that public health through increase access to medicines is a right of every human being. Majority of the people with diseases around the world live in developing countries, and while the possibility of them being treated of ailments is possible this is deprived from them because of expensive medicines or unavailability of these at their own country. As an organization, our institution strives to promote awareness and motivation to shift public opinion in order to make equity in the same priority as economic growth.
Equity cannot therefore be possible if there are millions of lives at stake who grows more ill everyday because trade agreements prevents them from being treated. As the Executive Director, I recommend that Oxfam join other civil society members and other organizations in launching a global campaigns and lobbying for WTO to review the TRIPS Agreement in the context of protecting the rights f developing countries to develop systems that would allow equitable access to medicines at affordable prices.
While we respect the intellectual property rights of pharmaceutical companies, we should reject trade agreements that limit the manufacture of generic drugs in developing countries that provides access to life-saving medicines especially for the poor. Oxfam International should also endeavor to identify interventions and allot resources that would support new healthcare innovations through research and development. The patent-based research is not effective in identifying treatment for neglected diseases that specifically ails developing countries.
Companies would not often finance actions such as this knowing that the buying power of developing countries would not yield extensive profit. These actions should be taken in our quest for a world of equity where millions of people living with disease given the hope of being treated. Works Cited James, J. S. (2001, March 30). “Access to Medicines for AIDS Patients in the Third World”. Retrieved November 30, 2007, from AIDS Treatment News: http://findarticles. com/p/articles/mi_m0HSW/is_2001_March_30/ai_74700225
Khor, M. (n. d. ). Patents and Access to Medicines: What Can Be Done at National Level. Retrieved November 30, 2007, from Church World Service: http://www. churchworldservice. org/Educ_Advo/hiv/khor-article. html Rimmington, S. (n. d. ). How the United States is undermining the commitments made to public health in developing countries in the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health. Retrieved November 30, 2007, from Essential Action – Access to Medicine Project: www. essentialaction. org/access/