Debates on how to improve healthcare in developing countries often include this premise: patents can potentially raise drug prices, so they should be abolished for better public health. This point of view is particularly widely held in a country like India, with the government’s latest National Sample Survey Office report pointing out 86 percent of the rural population and 82 percent of the urban population are still not covered under any health insurance scheme (whether private or public) and millions are pushed into poverty every year to meet their medical expenses.The most common and often misleading perception is a stronger patent regime will increase the prices of medicines, hitting the poor harder as they spend a larger portion of their disposable income towards medical treatment.
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