Patent Funded Access to Medicines


  • Tom Andreassen

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    • Address for correspondence: Tom Andreassen, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Philosophy and Religious Studies, Programme for Applied Ethics, NTNU Dragvoll, Trondheim 7491, Norway. Email:

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  • Conflict of interest statement: No conflicts declared


Instead of impeding access to essential medicines in developing countries, the essay explores why and how patents can serve as a source of funding for the much needed access to medicine. Instead of a weakening of patents, prolonged protection periods are suggested in circumstances where there is widespread lack of access. The revenues from extended patents are seen as a source of funding for drug donations to the least developed countries.