Access to critical medicines: When are compulsory licenses effective in price negotiations?

S.V. Ramani*, E.M.P. Urias

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Governments of developing countries can be in a vulnerable position with respect to patent protected drugs supplied by foreign firms, if the technology cannot be licensed or independently developed by local firms. In such instances, one possible solution is to negotiate for a price-drop with the patent holder in lieu of issuing a compulsory license. The present paper develops a game theoretic model of such bargaining and shows that while compulsory licenses do not occur under complete information, they can be issued under incomplete information. The model is tested against real episodes of compulsory licenses to derive policy insight.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-83
JournalSocial Science & Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015

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