Fig. 9.1 Pharmaceutical Sales and Population Shares by region, 2010. Sources UN ( 2012 ), IMS
Health ( 2011 )
heritage of our diverse communities by appropriating and privatizing their knowledge. For
these commercial interests, biodiversity itself has no value; it is merely a raw material for
the production of commodities and for the maximization of profits (Shiva 2007 : 309).
While non-human biological resources are now protected through the CBD,
such protection is still lacking for human biological resources. In this regard,
TRIPS is criticized both as a tool for the exploitation of developing country
resources and as a hindrance to realizing the universal human right to health. One
visionary way of reforming this system in order to make life-saving medical prod-
ucts available to all is the Health Impact Fund Reform Plan.
9.3 The Health Impact Fund Reform Plan
Proponents of a Health Impact Fund (HIF) seek to complement the international
intellectual property rights system by adding an alternative reward mechanism.
Instead of recouping research and development costs through high monopoly prices,
patentees would price their health products and services at the lowest feasible cost of
manufacture and distribution, and be rewarded from the HIF according to the health
impact of those products and services around the world. The HIF would be a sec-
ond, optional reward system offering payments to patentees of new drugs which are
sold globally at cost. It would be designed to offer payments based on the thera-
peutic impact of the drugs or vaccines, thus giving innovators efficient incentives to
develop drugs that maximize health gains (Banerjee et al. 2010 ).
The basic idea behind the HIF is simple. The primary responsibility of pharma-
ceutical innovators is to develop medicines which save lives, reduce suffering and