WTO Law and Prices of Pharmaceutical Products: Rule of Law Gaps and the Unclear Balance between Trade Protection, Human Rights, and IP Protection

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Price of medicine is subject to discussions from ethical, legal, political, and economic perspectives. This Article takes a rule of law perspective. Rule of law gaps in political systems cause legal uncertainties for investors and increase transaction costs for pharmaceutical producers. That can cause prices of pharmaceutical products to go up. This Article discusses rule of law gaps in World Trade Organization (“WTO”) law. First, this Article provides a brief
discussion of the conceptual challenges with the rule of law, in particular when it is applied at international level. Next, it highlights rule of law problems for pharmaceutical producers concerning access to justice and administration of WTO law. This Article gives examples of unclear law in the relationship between the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (“TRIPS”) and competition law; between health protection and TRIPS; and between WTO law and human rights.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe University of the Pacific Law Review
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)451-473
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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