In recent years, globalisation has forced a deeper appreciation of the relationship between intellectual property law and global health. The threat of an emergent avian bird flu pandemic led to calls for Roche to relax patent restrictions on oseltamivir, a drug with potential efficacy against bird influenza. In the context of the fall 2001 anthrax attacks, the US government faced pressure to break Bayer’s patent on ciprofloxacin in order to increase availability of the drug. Such situations have generated intense debate over the value of patent protection amidst health crisis.
Modern Medicine – Issue 2 2020