This work studies the effects of the trips agreement on access to essential drugs and the nature of the challenge it represents to policy making in general and to health policy in particular. The first part deals with the provisions of the agreement that are relevant to the access question, identifies different views on the debate and represents an analysis of different actors and interests involved as well as policy making processes and mechanisms. It argues that such process is dynamic and that actions of parties have a significant role to play in relation to the access question

Egypt is the case study chosen as a specific illustration of the general problem. The work analyses the problems related to intellectual property protection, health policy and difficulties relating to research and developement and policy making mechanisms. It argues for a higher coordination between all levels of policy making