Professor Aisling McMahon delivered invited research seminar on patent decision-making, institutional frameworks and the marginalisation of health needs at Durham CELLS Seminar Series, Durham University

by | May 27, 2024 | News

On 20th May 2024, Professor Aisling McMahon delivered a research seminar on “Patents and the Global Governance of Health: An Institutionalised Marginalisation of Health Needs within Patent Decision-Making Systems?” at the Durham CELLS (Centre for Ethics and Law in the Life Sciences) Seminar Series, Durham University.

Focusing on patents a case study, in the seminar she argued that there is an institutionalised marginalisation of health needs – and broader bioethical considerations – within the current global system for intellectual property rights. She argued that the current patent system – and how this system has developed – is not institutionally configured to prioritise health needs or broader bioethical issues posed by how patent rights can be used over health-technologies, even in times of global health crisis. Drawing on sociological and political science theories, Professor McMahon argued that a key factor leading to this marginalisation of health relates to the legal and institutional frameworks applicable within current patent decision-making systems, coupled with the lack of holistic avenues within international legal systems to offer effective avenues to consider societal impacts posed by patent use.

Professor McMahon is the Principal Investigator on the ERC funded PatentsInHumans Project. You can find out more about the PatentsInHumans project by visiting the project website:

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