Optimal Intellectual Property Rights Exhaustion and Humanitarian Assistance during a National Health Emergency
We analyze policy options during an international health emergency to provide consumers in least developed countries access to patented life-extending pharmaceuticals. We show that a properly specified tariff against re?xports achieves optimal price dispersion and is shown to depend on the nature of demand, product development costs and humanitarian concerns by western citizens for patients inside a health emergency zone. A tariff dominates regional exhaustion for achieving optimal price dispersion, improves the efficiency properties of a patent for covering product development cost and is a more efficient tool for internalizing a humanitarian externality than a targeted consumption subsidy.
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