WTO: DECLARATION on the TRIPS and Public Health Agreement, Ministerial Conference, 4th Session, Doha. 14 November 2001, [www.wto.org/English/thewto_e/minist_e/min01_e/mindecl_trips_e.pdf] Republic of Ghana: Patent law. 1992, P.N.D.C.L.305A Correa C: Implications of bilateral free trade agreements on access to medicines. Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 2006, 84 (5): 399-404. 10.2471/BLT.05.023432. The drugs are available in many health facilities across the country; However, access is largely limited due to financial constraints for most of the population, especially the poor. According to the World Bank, Ghana had a per capita income of $380 (2004), which is about one-fifth below the sub-Saharan Africa average of $490. In addition, a recent study shows that 40% of Ghana`s population earns less than the minimum wage, with this percentage increasing in rural areas. As a result, the poverty line makes it difficult to purchase drugs for patients. For example, HIV/AIDS patients receiving antiretroviral therapy paid for by the Global Fund for one month still have to pay 10% of the cost of the drugs with about 50,000 cedis (more than $US 50,000 ceises). In real terms, a person earning the minimum wage for more than 5 working days must pay for co-payment. In a small random sample of interviews with patients at the HIV/AIDS clinic at St Martin`s Hospital, Agomanya, we found that many patients were not working at all and had to borrow money from family members to cover this co-payment.
The amendments introduced in the 2003 Patent Act removed some legal instruments that may have helped improve access to medicines. In accordance with Section 7 of the Patent Act 1992, the Ghanaian government had the power to temporarily exclude from patentability inventions or discoveries such as Z.B drugs „… In the interests of national security, the economy, health or other national concerns. The 2003 Patent Act repealed this exception. The Government of Ghana could have excluded certain drugs from patentability as a temporary means of addressing urgent public health concerns. Temporary exclusivity is particularly useful when mandatory licensing procedural requirements cannot be met.