The Egyptian pharmaceutical industry serves as a case study for understanding the impact of the global intellectual property regime in this fascinating new addition to the University of Toronto Press Studies in Comparative Political Economy and Public Policy Series.The Illusive Trade-offexamines the Egyptian pharmaceutical industry within a broader context of intellectual property policy making and the multilateral agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs).
Basma Abdelgafar offers a fascinating discussion of Egypt's role in the trade negotiations that led to the establishment of the World Trade Organization, and makes the case that predominant perspectives on intellectual property rights are based on the false assumption that the innovation process is discrete and segmented. Abdelgafar contends that, in fact, innovation relies upon diffusion, and that inappropriately strong property rights interfere with this process. She uses the case of Egypt's pharmaceutical industry to argue that we must consider relevant aspects of individual countries' systems of innovation as well as public health, if we are to adequately understand the implication of stronger patent protection for the pharmaceutical industries of developing nations.The Illusive Trade-offis an original and important study crossing the disciplines of political science, law, public policy, and public health.
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