April 1, 2015 by Peter Yu
Access to medicines goes hand in hand with the protection of intellectual property rights. At a time when the United States is undertaking large-scale reforms in both the intellectual property and healthcare arenas, it is worth thinking more deeply and broadly about the connections between the two. In March 2010, Congress enacted the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010. The passage of these highly controversial statutes led to a constitutional challenge to the first statute before the United States Supreme Court. In the 5–4 decision of National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, Chief Justice John Roberts upheld the statute’s individual mandate while striking down its Medicaid expansion provisions.