Ethical Dilemma- HIV Infections and Drugs

Ethical dilemma


This worksheet is designed to help you get started on Paper #1. You may ultimately change your topic and/or the ethical theories you originally use on this worksheet but keep in mind feedback will be provided based on this thi submission and should be taken into consideration even if you change topics or theories later.

1.       Identify 1 major ethical issue in your field that you would like to analyze (the area you intend to work in upon graduation)? Make sure it is a controversial topic and/or there is an ethical dilemma present. Please describe briefly.

HIV Drugs

In 1970 India has passed the Patent Act 1970 for only new molecules and chemical entities. India did not recognize the patent law for pharmaceuticals. Hence, the pharmaceutical companies in India were duplicating the medicine for AIDS and cancer. This allows the price of the multinational drug brought down dramatically. However, in 1994, India has signed the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs). Agreement as a condition to join the World Trade Organization (WTO). This agreement makes the Indian government strengthen the patent law.

India has the third-largest number of HIV infections, with 2.1 million people living with HIV. Access to affordable drugs for HIV/AIDS treatment is increasingly challenging because of the agreement of 1994 Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs).  Consequently in the early 2000s, the Indian government has granted the compulsory license to its generic manufactures to duplicate the HIV drugs at an affordable price. A compulsory license is on offer by the government which is one of the main mechanisms that limits patent rights. The multinational drugmaker sells the drugs for thousands of dollars for a monthly treatment. The duplicated version that is from  India costs only for couple hundred dollars for a monthly treatment. Finally thousands of patients in India did not afford the treatment before find hope for living.

Developing a medicine and drug takes decades and it costs billions of dollars. The multinational pharmaceutical companies have gone through all these developing phases, and they want to sell their medicine so they can make returns on their investment. The multinational pharmaceutical companies were losing billions of dollars from the duplicated medicines because the Indian government was abusing the compulsory licensing.

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