An Economic Justification for Open Access to Essential Medicine Patents in Developing Countries

Mike Palmedo
August 13, 2009

The paper that Sean Flynn, Aidan Hollis, and I wrote has been published in the Summer 2009 issue Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics.   The paper looks at monopoly pricing of essential medicines in countries with high levels of income inequality, and finds that the seller will maximize revenues by selling at a high price to a small segment of the population. Most potential buyers will be priced out of the market, so the countries will suffer a large deadweight losses. This justifies finding ways such as open licensing of drug patents to expand access to medicines.

The abstract and the table of contents for the current issue is here.

I'd be happy to send a copy to the paper to anyone interested - my email is


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