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Heer Pardesi, who is 42 years old, holds her antiretroviral drugs for HIV. (Jonas Gratzer/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The Patent Truth About Health, Innovation and Access

Carol Adelman & Jeremiah Norris

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This report reviews and analyzes the following premises of the U.N.‘s High Level Panel on Access to Medicines, which are:

  1. Millions of poor people in low- and middle-income countries have been denied access to antiretroviral drugs and other medicines;
  2. Patents are the main cause of higher costs of medicines for poor people in low- and middle-income countries;
  3. The intellectual property system, including patents and voluntary licenses, limits research and disadvantages local producers in low- and middle- income countries.

These basic assumptions, drawing from the earlier Global Commission on HIV and the Law and the new High Level Panel on Access to Medicines, however, are not supported by global health research.

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