Informations and abstract
Keywords: Access to Essential Drugs; Right to Health within International Law; TRIPs Agreement; Pharmaceutical Patents; India; Development Goals.
With the judgment "Novartis AG v. Union of India & Others" of 1 April 2013, the Supreme Court of India has denied that frivolous innovations of a patented medicine can be patented as a new drug under the Indian Patents Act. The Court reached this conclusion since this Act aims to promote universal access to essential drugs by facilitating the production and exportation of cheap generic drugs. The article focuses on the relationship between the access to essential drugs and the guarantee of the right to health under international law. For the purpose of the protection of such a right, the reduction of the price of essential drugs is important, but not sufficient, as emphasized by the UN Committee of the Economic, Social and Cultural Covenant, in particular within its General Comment on the right to health, and by the Special Rapporteur on the right to health of the UN Council of Human Rights within several reports. To this end, States and other actors of international relations, such as multinational enterprises, should promote the satisfaction of the social needs of developing countries as a whole.