Parallel importation of human drugs
Efuetlateh, Michael Ageboh
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Most pharmaceutical products have different prices in different markets, with the highest prices being reported in developing countries such as South Africa. Despite the World Health Organization’s agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), some member states still oppose its usage. South Africa embraced the idea of parallel importation and passed the Medicines and Related Substance Control Amendment Act in 1997. This paper evaluated the impact of the passage of the regulations in the South Africa. Data from published literature was evaluated and supplemented with a questionnaire. Parallel importation had not been used in practice but has served as a “Big Stick Diplomacy” tool. Hence, there has been a significant increase in the number of voluntary licenses and price decreases in some essential drugs but no significant change in the regulation or the quality of drugs.