“Regional free trade treaties dealing with the protection of intellectual property, particularly in the areas of pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, should not only maintain intact the powers granted to states by multilateral agreements, but should also be a means for ensuring a minimum of health care and access to basic treatment for all – Pope Francis (2015)”
Developing countries should be allowed the time and flexibility needed for them to comfortably comply with trade agreements. This was Pope Francis’ message yesterday when he addressed UN officials at the United Nations Office at Nairobi. He further emphasized the need for governments to focus on elimination of malaria, tuberculosis and the treatment of orphan diseases.
According to MedicineNet Inc, an online health care media publishing company, orphan diseases as rare diseases that affect less than 200,000 people or a common disease that has been largely ignored because it is more prevalent in developing countries than in the developed world.
The Pope’s message translates to the fact that there is an urgent need to build on research and development capacity for neglected tropical diseases which largely affect Middle East and African countries, posing a health risk and economic burden to many developing countries.