Developing world bioethics 2016 Oct 4() doi 10.1111/dewb.12124
While compulsory licensing (CL) is described in the TRIPS agreement as flexibility to protect public health by improving access to medicines in developing countries, a recent literature contends adversely that CL may harm public health. Therefore, this article intends to evaluate the usefulness of CL in the South through the prism of obligations and goals entrusted to patent holders (the effective and non-abusive exploitation of patents in order to achieve industrial and health developments) and in light of experiences in Thailand and Brazil regarding access to antiretroviral drugs. In this way, it shows that the obligations assigned to patent holders were better served by the recipients of CL and brought significant health and industrial benefits in the two high middle-income countries. In particular, CL allowed the scaling-up of free and universal access to antiretroviral drugs by assuring the financial sustainability of these public health programs endangered by monopolistic practices from patent holders.