Home Institution

Emory University

Publication Date

Fall 2021

Program Name

Switzerland: Global Health and Development Policy


There is an imminent need to address the healthcare disparities in accessing all COVID-19 medicinal products in developing countries. While logistical issues like inadequate production facilities such as the lack of vaccines administration capacity, storage issues, gap between supply and demand as well as vaccine hesitancy can certainly play a part in impeding COVID19 medicines distribution, patent monopolies and intellectual property protection laws further exacerbated the problem, especially when vaccines were at its early stages of authorization. Historical and contemporary case studies of efforts to challenge patents on HIV AVRs treatment provide a useful lens through which we may glean insights into potential actions for challenging current and future patents on emergency and essential medicines for COVID. Currently, there is limited literature available that pinpoints the lessons learned regarding intellectual property between the HIV and COVID-19 pandemic, and they also include analysis that is out of date due to the quickly evolving situation of the availability of COVID-19 medicines. Therefore, the literature will focus on providing the background information on existing solutions to improve access to the HIV pandemic and applications of these strategies to the COVID-19 treatments by analyzing the feasibility of legal mechanisms including TRIPS flexibilities, TRIPS waiver, march-in-rights, and competing government patents. New global health initiatives brought up during the COVID-19 pandemic such as Medicine patent pool to transfer technology and knowhow and COVAX and CTAP will also be discussed.


Bioethics and Medical Ethics | Clinical Epidemiology | Health Law and Policy | Health Policy | Intellectual Property Law | Medicine and Health | Pharmacy Administration, Policy and Regulation


Article Location