In Defence of the Importance of Human Rights for the Improvement of Access to Patented Medicines:A Response to Thambisetty

Peck, Thomas James William (2022) In Defence of the Importance of Human Rights for the Improvement of Access to Patented Medicines:A Response to Thambisetty. Intellectual Property Quarterly (2). pp. 51-61. ISSN 1364-906X

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This article is a response to Siva Thambisetty, ‘Improving Access to Patented Medicines: Are Human Rights Getting in the Way?’ (2019) 4 IPQ 284. Thambisetty argues that human rights law can pose an obstacle to improving access to patented medicines. In response, I argue that while she raises salient points regarding the institutional efficiency and practical implementation of both human rights norms and patent law reform, she misinterprets key elements of the international human rights law system. These misinterpretations cloud her arguments such that she does not fully recognise the utility of human rights law and dialogue in patent reform and the remedy of abuses. Her argument does not consider key principles of the international legal hierarchy and the clear intersections which allow for the oversight of the operation of laws within the State as well as the progression towards greater oversight of the activities of non-state actors such as pharmaceutical corporations. In response, I argue that through the proper utilisation of international human rights law mechanisms and dialogue, current failings of patent law can be remedied, fostering instrumental changes in the international and domestic patent system, ensuring greater access to essential medicines.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Intellectual Property Quarterly
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This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in Intellectual Property Quarterly following peer review. The definitive published version I.P.Q. 2022, 2, 51-61 is available online on Westlaw UK.
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18 Mar 2022 16:00
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2022 11:06