The talk will be held in English.
Pharmaceutical drugs require significant investment in research and development, while the pure production costs of medicines are relatively low. In industrialised countries, patent protection developed as a way to secure a return on investment. But when patent rules were globalised in the 1990s a serious problem of contemporary global governance arose: international rules on intellectual property rights could easily make the price of lifesaving medicines unaffordable in developing countries, and thereby conflict with the realisation of basic human rights.
Wolfgang Hein and Suerie Moon recount the remarkable story of the global social movement for access to medicines and offer an explanation for how the informal, but powerful norm that every person should have access to essential medicines emerged after a decade of heated political contestation and against long odds. In their book Informal Norms in Global Governance: Human Rights, Intellectual Property Rules and Access to Medicines they consider ongoing negotiations amongst countries at the World Health Organization over alternate approaches to stimulate medical innovation that will be more compatible with the realisation of human rights.
Suerie Moon, PhD is research director and co-chair of the Forum on Global Governance for Health, Harvard Global Health Institute and Harvard School of Public Health. She has also been a consultant on access to medicines policies for MSF, Oxfam, the Medicines Patent Pool, UNAIDS, UNITAID and the World Health Organization.
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Hein is Senior Research Fellow at the GIGA Institute of Latin American Studies and has published extensively on global health governance.