It is commonly contended that international legal regime aims at promoting equality between states and helping underdeveloped states develop. Amongst the methods that have been argued to promote economic development is increased patent protection. Proponents of the patent regime argue that increased protection will increase foreign direct investment in different sectors of developing countries, such as the pharmaceutical industry, as well as allow for the spread of technology and known how. However, as the thesis will show this has not been the case. The thesis will demonstrate how the current international legal regime has a Eurocentric bias that works to the benefit developed and against developing states. Therefore, perpetuating a cycle of underdevelopment, poverty and inequality, within developing states. Specifically, this argument is made through an analysis of the patent regime and its effects on access to pharmaceuticals, which demonstrates how increased patent protection, especially under the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Treaty, has resulted in the is lack of access to medicine in developing countries. Consequently, people in underdeveloped countries remain sick, unproductive, and experience high mortality rates from curable diseases, which directly affects the economic development of those developing states.


Law Department

Degree Name

LLM in International and Comparative Law

Graduation Date


Submission Date

January 2017

First Advisor

Natarajan, Usha

Committee Member 1

Beckett, Jason

Committee Member 2

Sayed, Hani


63 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis


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Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

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