Vol. 5 No. 2 (2022): Pakistan Journal of International Affairs


Published 2022-05-29


Money is important but how much do you need? How much money it costs is not the issue but how much the money costs us is crucial. Whether money is more important than human lives? It seems yes in pharmaceutical industry where they succeed in getting patent against medicines necessary for human’s surviving and get exclusive control of their prices. They set their medicine’s prices very high out of reach to the poor people who die due to their poverty having not sufficient money to buy them. They work on a trade theory ‘higher risk higher return’ because medicines are only commodities upon which human life depends. To get patent in medicine is a very successful tool for the accumulation of maximum wealth at the name of innovation and progress. Pakistan being a signatory of TRIPS Agreement has to ensure patent protection, to patent holders when they meet qualifications to get patent which they very easily manage, at the same level as required under TRIPS as international obligations. It adds to woes of poor people because Pakistan’s public health sector is also very fragile and it has been identified as one of the country’s most corrupt sectors according to surveys by Transparency International. TRIPS Agreement has introduced certain flexibilities for developing countries and compulsory licensing in pharmaceutical patents is one of them but unluckily Pakistan has not granted it even a single time as it can be seen in India and many other countries not only developing but also the developed like Canada. The countries have been given liberty to interpret the terms of TRIPS Agreement and India has used this liberty very efficiently to make it difficult for getting patent in medicines and also paved ways for the production of maximum generic medicines but unfortunately Pakistan is not even near to that level of efficiency achieved by India.