Public Reason: Vol. 4, No. 1-2, June-December 2012
The Clash Between Global Justice and Drug Patents: A Critical Analysis
Mihail-Valentin Cernea & Radu Uszkai

In the following paper we will talk about the issue of the access of the poor countries of the world to pharmaceuticals and it could be solved just by wholly renouncing the current Intellectual Property regime. The first section of the paper will be concerned with an outline of the problem at hand, namely how the TRIPS agreement was detrimental to the medical conditions of the impoverished from less-developed country. The second section of the paper will outline Thomas Pogge’s and Aidan Hollis’ solution to this global justice problem: The Health Impact Fund. We will also sketch some criticisms of this proposed solution from a libertarian perspective. The final section of the paper, and the largest, will summarize what we think is the better solution for this conundrum, one that involves dropping patents because, as we will try to show, intellectual monopoly is not a necessary way to incentivize creativity and innovation in the pharmaceutical industry.

Key words: intellectual property rights, pharmaceutical industry, patents, Global Justice, Health Impact Fund.


Cernea, Mihail-Valentin, and Radu Uszkai. 2012. The Clash Between Global Justice and Drug Patents: A Critical Analysis. Public Reason 4 (1-2): 210-21.