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Wto Agreement On Drugs

By Zach Arnold | April 15, 2021

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Azevedo said wto agreements should not work in a vacuum and should also support the development and improvement of livelihoods around the world, in addition to other objectives such as environmental policy and public health. The World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement on trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights (TRIPS) 1 has made very significant changes to international intellectual property rights standards. The agreement has been one of the most controversial elements of the WTO system because of its considerable impact, particularly with regard to developing countries. During the Uruguay Round negotiations between developed and developing countries and between the industrialized countries themselves, strong differences of opinion emerged on the scope and content of the agreement. The implementation of the agreement and its review as part of the “integrated agenda” have also been the subject of controversy.226 For developing countries, particularly least developed countries and small economies, parallel importing can be an important way to improve access to medicines, where prices charged by patent holders for their products are prohibitive. In addition, parallel imports can be a useful tool to ensure access to medicines in situations where local production of the product is not possible and where compulsory licensing may therefore be ineffective. The amendment to the Trade-Related Intellectual Property (TRIPS) Agreement provides access to medicines for the world`s most vulnerable people for diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, Azevedo said later in a statement. 1. The TRIPS agreement provides minimum standards for the protection of patents, trademarks, copyrights and other intellectual property rights. See the text of the agreement in www.wto.org. Article 31, point (f) of the TRIPS agreement stipulates that products manufactured under compulsory licence must be used “primarily for the supply of the internal market”. This is the case for countries that can produce drugs — it limits the amount they can export if the drug is manufactured under compulsory licence.

And this has an impact on countries that are not able to produce drugs and therefore want to introduce generic drugs. In certain circumstances, they would find it difficult to find countries capable of supplying them with medicines manufactured under the compulsory licence. In 2003, WTO members agreed to grant these countries a temporary waiver, which was renewed every two years. In 2005, they agreed to exempt two-thirds of the WTO`s 164 members from the approval of the 164 WTO members. 11. THE WHO Drug Strategy (WHA54.11) also contains a number of important elements of discussion at the TRIPS DES Council. The World Health Assembly notes the need to further assess the impact of international trade agreements on local access or production of essential medicines and on the development of new medicines. Also urges members to cooperate and improve access to medicines with regard to UN Human Rights Commission Resolution 2001/33; and, in line with the health needs of people, particularly those who have the least means, and recognising the efforts of Member States to expand access to medicines and promote domestic industry, constructively to strengthen drug policies and practices, including those applicable to generic drugs and IP systems, to further promote innovation and development of domestic industries, in accordance with applicable international law.

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