Intellectual property and health in developing countries

Jean Tirole*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


This essay focuses on the impact of intellectual property rights (IPRs) on lowand middle-income countries' health care. There are two different reasons why poor countries may not have access to needed vaccines and drugs. In the case of global diseases, such as diabetes or cancer, patents may hinder the diffusion of pharmaceuticals. In the case of neglected or tropical diseases, such as malaria, tuberculosis, and leishmaniasis, the corresponding vaccines or drugs are not developed because of low profitability due to the poverty of potential customers. The important role of compulsory licensing for low- and middle-income countries is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationUnderstanding Poverty
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Print)9780195305197
StatePublished - Sep 6 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Compulsory licensing
  • Global diseases
  • Global social contract
  • IPR
  • Prize mechanism
  • Tropical diseases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)


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