Poverty, Not Patents, Greatest Barrier To Drug Access For Poor, Study Finds

Law360, New York (May 5, 2004, 12:00 AM EDT) -- Poverty is a much greater barrier than patents to access to essential medicines in the developing world, a study authored by Royal Institute of International Affairs fellow Amir Attaran concludes.

The study tests the extent to which pharmaceutical patents interfere with access to "essential medicines" in the developing world, and finds that patents for essential medicines are "uncommon in poor countries and cannot readily explain why access to those medicines is often lacking, suggesting that poverty not patents, imposes the greater limitation on access."

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