The exceptions to patent rights under the WTO-TRIPS agreement : where is the right to health guaranteed?
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Health as the world affirmed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights more than fifty years ago, is a fundamental human right and an indispensable component of development under any economic policy model.2 Poverty in families and nations produces poor health and the links also go the other way, failure to invest in good health will undermine even the best-laid development plans. Protection of the right to health is important as a prerequisite for the right to life. lt is therefore imperative that as the world turns into a global market and village, the essence of human existence is not forgotten. There is a need to strike a clear and meaningful balance between profit and human wellbeing with greater consideration for life without which, the profit motive is itself futile. The scale of the AIDS crisis now outstrips even the worst-case scenarios of a decade ago.3 AIDS has reached pandemic proportions. Described by the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS (UNGASS) as a "global emergency"on account of its sheer scale and impact, AIDS is recognised as a formidable threat to human life, dignity and the enjoyment of fundamental human rights.a Dozens of countries are already in the grip of serious HIV/AIDS epidemics, and many more are on the brink. Around the world, an estimated five million people became infected in 2OO1,8OO,OOO of them children. Over the next decade, without effective treatment and care, they will join the ranks of the more than twenty million people who have died of AIDS since the first clinical evidence of HIV/AIDS was reported in 1981.
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