Intellectual Property Rights and Access to Affordable ARVs in China19 Mar 2013
This paper documents the recent developments, opportunities and challenges in intellectual property rights and access to affordable medicines in China. In particular, the paper finds that there have been impressive achievements in the national response to the HIV epidemic in China. Examples include the rapid expansion of government-supported antiretroviral (ARV) schemes and the development of a legal framework on intellectual property to address access to affordable pharmaceutical products in China. Adoption of the National Intellectual Property Strategy by the State Council in June 2008, and the revisions to the Patent Law and the Implementing Regulations with strong focus on public health protection are among the most prominent legal and policy achievements over the recent years, founding an enabling environment for action. However, there is still a great need for coordination among relevant ministries and agencies to explore options to increase access to affordable pharmaceutical products. The recognition that domestic civil society is a part of the solution is an important starting point to forge broader partnerships necessary to ensure access to affordable medicines and successful treatment uptake. Intellectual Property Rights and Access to Affordable ARVs in China originates from a study commissioned by UNDP to the Third World Network, who conducted the research in consultation with the members of the UN Technical Working Group on Care and Treatment, Access to Medicines Sub-Group in 2007/2008. It was subsequently updated in 2012 with special thanks to UNAIDS, MSF, Hu Yuanqiong and Tenu Avafia, Policy Specialist from UNDP Bureau for Development Policy. The final report was edited by Professor Carlos Correa from the University of Buenos Aires.