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TRIPS und globale Partnerschaften. Konflikte um den Zugang zu Medikamenten im Rahmen von Global Health Governance

Sonja Bartsch, Wolfgang Hein

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This article focuses on the interaction between the TRIPS agreement and Global Public-Private Partnerships (GPPPs) with regard to access to drugs for the poor. It is argued that TRIPS creates three types of problems for developing countries: a barrier for the development of their own technological capacities, a lack of incentive for the development of drugs for diseases of the poor, and a high price level for highly effective drugs. The possible exceptions from TRIPS like legally produced generica, parallel importing and compulsory licensing are not sufficient to cope with these problems. GPPPs in health – which can mainly be found in the areas of R&D and Access – can be regarded as an attempt to integrate public and private actors in global health governance and to reach a compromise between their respective interests. The neoliberal globalization process, so the main thesis of this article, led to the emergence of a global polity, in which dominant actors managed to establish their rules mainly through the WTO agreements, but in which the self-interest of these groups (legitimacy of this order, political stability, expansion of their basis of accumulation) also forces them to enter into compromises. In this context institutional forms like GPPPs have the chance to reach improvements for the poor. The respective policies and politics are not only contested but might also stimulate activities for wider reaching changes of the core structures of the „global polity“.