Author granted license

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International

Document Type


Publication Date





American Society of Law & Medicine




From the perspective of public health, limiting access programs and TRIPS flexibilities to particular diseases would be quite dangerous and unnecessary. Dangerous because the diseases of the world's rich and poor countries are converging, including non-communicative diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer and depression. Radically cheaper medicines for these conditions could significantly improve health in LMICs. Limitation is also unnecessary because proven tools can be deployed to preserve high-income markets while LMICs pursue equitable flexibilities.

To date, the important global legal texts retain broad application to all relevant diseases, but the some parties continue to propose disease-specific limitations, most recently in the World Health Organization's Intergovernmental Working Group on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property (the WHO IGWG). The WHO IGWG's task is to distill the WHO CIPIH Report into a global strategy and plan of action. This article hopes to influence the final text of the IGWG Global Strategy, finding that disease-specific limitations on access programs and TRIPS flexibilities are inappropriate in markets for medicines, but disease-specific programs are important in markets for neglected disease innovation.

Find on SSRN



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.