Science, Patents and Access to Healthcare

Recent cases, in the United States and elsewhere, have seen the commercial acquisition of pharmaceutical companies and the huge increase in the cost of their products which have effectively placed essential medicines out of the reach of poorer people and countries, despite desperate needs.
In 2015, the United Nations adopted the Sustainable Development Goals. SDG Goal 3 sets the objective of access by all to essential medicines as a target for the world, by 2030. But can this Goal be achieved in the light of the present international law?

Professor Dianne Nicol

Professor of Law and Director of the Centre for Law and Genetics
University of Tasmania

hosts a conversation with

The Honourable Michael Kirby AC CMG

Michael Kirby is a past Justice of the High Court of Australia and an Honorary Professor of the University of Tasmania. He currently serves on a new high-level panel of the United Nations examining “policy incoherence” between international trade rules on intellectual property of new pharmaceutical products and the provisions in international law that provide for access to essential healthcare.

Professor Peter Rathjen

Professor Rathjen is the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Tasmania. Prior to his appointment to the University of Tasmania, Professor Rathjen was the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) and Dean of Science at the University of Melbourne. As a biochemist, he specialised in embryonic stem (ES) cell research. He established an internationally recognised research program into stem cell biology and stem cell therapies.