Global leaders dither, while disease races to Latin America

You’re nearly twice as likely to die from colon cancer living in a Latin American country than you are living in the United States. Global health leaders are trying to fix this disparity. But unfortunately, they’ve misdiagnosed the problem. Some blame intellectual property protections for pharmaceuticals. They argue that allowing companies to patent new drugs prevents patients in developing regions from a c c e s s i n g l i f e s a v i n g medicines. They want to e l i m i n a t e patents altogether.

This strategy is certain to fail. Effective intellectual property protection and enforcement encourages medical research and development. Weakening patents would reduce access to cuttingedge cures. It’s time to take a new approach.

 

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