BMJ 23 Dec 2006

The Revd. Thomas Malthus no doubt used to celebrate Christmas by taking food off his starving parishioners’ tables, the quicker to help them die, and there is a school of economics which argues similarly – for depriving poor countries of life-saving medicines. But Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel prizewinner for economics in 2002, is not of this persuasion, and here argues simply and humanely for a reversal of the “intellectual rights