Document Type

Article

Publication Year

2003

Journal Title

ILSA Journal of International & Comparative Law

Abstract

This Note focuses on TRIPS' impact on the pharmaceutical industry as well as health care in developing nations. By using Egypt as a case study, this Note aims to emphasize that the benefits of TRIPS for developing nations depends on the linkage between intellectual property rights (IPR) and other legal regimes, particularly drug regulation, technology transfer, and foreign direct investment (FDI) policies. The failure to adopt a holistic approach to the creation of effective and beneficial intellectual property rights regimes will merely increase the western pharmaceuticals' market share and increase drug prices in developing nations.6 By asking whether Egypt, versus foreign multinational companies, is likely to benefit from its new IPR law (that is for the most part TRIPS compliant) one has to analyze the entire context in which the law exists. This in turn will expose the importance of various factors relevant to fulfilling the expected benefits of stronger IPRs in developing nations in general.

Consequently, Section I provides a brief description of the ongoing debate between the developed and developing nations in regard to the costs and benefits of international pharmaceutical patents. Section II outlines and describes the controversial provisions in TRIPS and how they are addressed, adequately or inadequately, in Egypt's new IPR law. Section m then analyzes the context in which the new IPR law is being introduced including the structure of Egypt's pharmaceutical industry and national health care system. Section IV addresses other legal regimes and policies, such as research and development, technology transfer, and competition policy, which are inextricably linked to the efficacy of intellectual property rights. Finally, Section V offers recommendations on how Egypt can fully benefit from its commitment to TRIPS and its new IPR law, which can then be extrapolated to other developing nations in similar circumstances.

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