The world trade organization's trade agreements : a legal analysis of their impact on access to antiretroviral drugs and the human right to health/life in Zambia.
This dissertation has been motivated by the prolonged deficiency of access to advanced regimens of Antiretroviral drugs(ARVs) and efficient health services by people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in Zambia, a least developed Member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Zambia‘s reality of dire provision of health services particularly essential medicines persists despite the urgent need for sustainable access to ARV drugs in poor African countries worst affected by HIV/AIDS, having been accentuated in the international declaration on Trade Related Aspects on Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and Public Health. Furthermore, under international human rights law of treaties, access to medicines including ARV drugs, has been recognised as a core component of the right to health and or life which needs to be progressively realised by governments, even in the advent of globalisation of domestic health services including provision of medicines. Whilst the Zambian government has highlighted lack of funds as the foremost impediment to efficient supply of health services particularly essential medicines. Conversely the WTO has pronounced lack of legal adoption of a plethora of flexibilities envisaged in its relevant international agreements by most poor Members, as the foremost impediment to fostering efficient public health service delivery including access to ARV drugs and therapy for PLWHA. Thus to assist in ascertaining whether the issue of deficient access to ARV drugs as a health service is as a result of legal unpreparedness in poor countries specifically Zambia; or whether it is due to provisions in the WTO trade agreements that foster globalisation of health services through liberalised trade in services and pharmaceutical patent protection of essential drugs. This dissertation will analyse the WTO‘s multilateral trade agreements and their legal impact on access to ARV drugs as a health service and a human right to health in Zambia. The foregoing analysis will be conducted through a desk review of literature on the subject, making use of paper and electronic sources.