Washington International Law Journal


John M. Wechkin


This Comment addresses effects of the 1992 rescission of compulsory licensing laws for pharmaceutical patents in New Zealand. The Comment summarizes the history behind the change in law, the effect the change has had, projections for future effects, and the degree to which the change brings New Zealand law into compliance with proposed General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs ("GAT") provisions. The effects of the repeal on drug prices appear to be masked by changes in New Zealand's pharmaceutical price support system. Both changes are illustrative of the continuing conflict over technology protection in the marketplace, a conflict which is particularly acute in the area of pharmaceuticals. The change is significant because it may indicate a shift from intellectual property laws to price regulation as a means by which governments control the price and availability of pharmaceuticals.

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