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Rights and Ethics in the Patenting of Medicine - Essay Example

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An essay "Rights and Ethics in the Patenting of Medicine" claims that western scientists attempt to seize the information and patent the chemical cures extracted from biogenetic resources obtained from rainforests. This opposes indigenous systems which promote the collective management…
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Rights and Ethics in the Patenting of Medicine
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Download file to see previous pages Intellectual property rights (IPR) related to indigenous medicines concern biogenetic resources available in nature and as commercial products. IPR includes practical applications of biogenetic resources and traditional knowledge (TK) about natural medicine and the biodiversity of subtropical and tropical regions such as rainforests. Businesses using biogenetic resources are the prime users of intellectual property rights (IPRs) including “patents, plant variety protection (PVP) or plant breeders’ rights (PBRs), copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets” (Dutfield, 2004, p.11). Thesis Statement: The purpose of this paper is to investigate intellectual property and ethics in the patenting of medicine derived from indigenous biogenetic resources of the tropics and subtropics. Whether western scientists or indigenous people should get the patents of these medicines, will be determined. The World Health Organization indicates that approximately 80 percent of the world’s population depends on traditional medicine for its primary health care. Some traditional medicines are used in biomedical research, being sources of chemical substances with therapeutic value (Soetan & Aiyelaagbe, 2009). Therefore, traditional medicines are economically highly profitable. Indigenous communities are responsible for discovering, developing and preserving an extensive range of medicinal plants, herbal health formulations and other compounds from agricultural and forest products. These are traded internationally, thereby generating high economic value; however, due to unfair exploitation of knowledge about traditional medicines, the profits do not reach the indigenous communities who cultivate and develop the medicines (Dutfield, 2004). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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