Patent as a Generator Rather than Inhibitor of Drug Accessibility in Developing Countries: a Critical Examination of India's Patent Model
Patent's reputation as a constructive mechanism in the developing world was not a common notion. The prospect of utilising pharmaceutical patents to generate drug accessibility in developing countries did not seem possible. However, little credit was given to patents. Through motivating innovation, foreign investment, trade relations and industrialisation, patents can form a prowess pharmaceutical industry in the developing world. This thesis explores the possibility to increasing the availability of low cost drugs in emerging economies through patent enforcement. The analysis focuses on India as a case study. India has long been at the forefront of the developing world fight for low cost drugs markets. This stand once meant the exclusion of patent protection of pharmaceutical innovation and the formation of low cost copied generic drugs industry. However given developing countries' recent submissions to the international pressure to enforce patent protection on pharmaceutical innovations, it is time to re-examine the role patents play in developing countries, this time in the avenue of reducing drugs' pricing. India's current economy and the evolution of its pharmaceutical industry evolvement, make it as an exemplary case study to utilise patent to fulfil this end. Accordingly, the issue of widening the scope of patent protection in India to include pharmaceutical incremental innovation is examined. Notwithstanding the responsibility of India to endorse wider patent scope, legally and practically, the thesis does not ignore the moral obligation the developed world has towards India's poorer population to offer low cost drugs during the stages of its pharmaceutical industry emergence. The preliminary justification to conduct this observation is to show that patent is not only to answer the healthcare needs of the developed world population, but also the developing world. As such the thesis argues that India ought to stand at the forefront again, this time, demonstrating the potential within patent to establish low cost patented pharmaceuticals marketplace in developing countries.