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Pharmaceuticals play a central role in health care throughout the world. The pharmaceutical industry is beset with difficulties as increasing research and development expenditure yields fewer new treatments. Public and private budgets strain under the weight of high prices and limited access. The world's poor see little effort to address diseases prevalent in less affluent societies, while the world's wealthy are overusing prescription drugs, risking their health and wasting resources. As the global economic crisis exacerbates pressure on health care budgets, a new presidential administration in Washington, DC has committed to broad health care reform. These circumstances form the backdrop for this extraordinarily timely examination of the global system for the development, production, distribution and use of medicines. The authors are acknowledged experts in the fields of pharmaceutical law and policy, with many years experience advising governments, multilateral organizations and policy-makers on issues involving innovation, access and use of medicines. Supported by a team of independent scientists, doctors and lawyers, they take an insightful look at the issues surrounding global regulation of the pharmaceutical sector, and offer pragmatic suggestions for reform. This book will be of interest to government policy-makers, members of industry, healthcare professionals, teachers, students and lawyers in the fields of public health, intellectual property and international trade.