The concept of patents and intellectual property has emerged from the right to ownership and the documentation of innovation and discovery, often a result of significant individual and collective human endeavor.
Developing a new drug requires heavy investment and long years of research, coupled with expensive clinical trials and regulatory approval procedures. Thus, the exclusive right conferred by a patent serves as an incentive for developers of new drugs to make prior investments in undertaking that research.
A significant positive of the patent system is that it contributes to society by freely making available patent information to other researchers for further refinement and improvement of existing technologies.
Pandemics like HIV/AIDS
However, in the case of pandemics like HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, and avian influenza which raise serious humanitarian concerns and immediate solutions must be found. In such cases, the role of patents in pharmaceutical innovation and fair and affordable access to health care stand in conflict and need to be harmonized expeditiously to meet the exigency
The challenge for policymakers in crises of public health is to find an optimal balance between the rights of patent owners, who provide technological innovations to improve health conditions, and the needs of the general public.
The committee on Intellectual property will debate and discuss matters pertaining to the patent regimes in various countries governing the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare spectrum.