THE CONVERGENCE OF PATENT RIGHTS AND RIGHT TO PUBLIC HEALTH : THE CHALLENGES OF IMPROVING ACCESS TO PATENTED MEDICINES IN INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION 4.0 Mas Rahmah
Faculty of Law, Universitas Airlangga Jalan Darmawangsa Dalam Selatan Surabaya 60286
The exclusive right of Patent on medicines provides legalized monopolies for the holders that allows them to control and drive up the price of patented medicines. Evidently, this situation has blocked poor people access to essential medicines contributing to public health problems. This paper highlights that conflict between the effect of patent right and public access to medicines has raised pressing questions about the importance of convergence of patent rights and the right to public health. The paper also acknowledges the challenges of improving access to patented medicines in the era of industrial revolution 4.0. To address these problems, this paper has objective to formulate the scheme of converging the patent right and patient right, particularly for improving access to patented medicines. To ensure the right to public health, this paper suggests the alternative schemes of revitalizing TRIPS (Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) flexibilities such as compulsory licensing and parallel importation and other mechanism of balancing patent rights. The result of this study also recommends that the charity philanthropic donations of medicines and financial aids should be accompanied by other practical mechanisms such as building health capacity, technology transfer, public-private partnership, discounted drug or differential pricing, in order to ensure medicines available and accessible to those in need.
Keywords: patent, exclusive right, right to health, public health, patented medicines