Trips Agreement Medicine

Parallel imports allow a developing country to use the common practice of different drug pricing in different countries. For example, if a package of nevirapine, a patented medicine, is sold in France for $250.00 and $275.00 in South Africa, a South African company (or the government itself) can import the drug from France and sell it at a lower price without the permission of the South African patent holder. Parallel imports effectively allow countries to purchase patented medicines at the lowest price in the world. The right to parallel imports under the TRIPS Agreement is based on a fundamental legal principle, known as the `exhaustion` of intellectual property rights, which defines the date on which a patent proprietor no longer has exclusive rights related to the resale of his product (5). Article 6 of the Agreement provides that Member States may decide independently when the exclusive resale rights of patent holders will be terminated, but issues of exhaustion cannot form the basis of a dispute to be brought to the WTO for settlement. Article 6 of the TRIPS Agreement allows Member States to carry out parallel imports. The text of the decision, as interpreted in the Presidency`s statement, sets out numerous conditions for the export of patented medicines. In order to obtain the supply of drugs under this mechanism, the following steps should be followed:19 These developments support members` requests to examine how the system referred to in paragraph 6 can function effectively in practice. The capacity-building workshops organized by the WTO therefore examined in more detail how to effectively use this additional procurement tool in practice so that affordable medicines reach patients. WTO Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi called the decision a “historic agreement” in a press release. Mr Panitchpakdi added: “This proves that the WTO can handle both humanitarian and trade issues. This particular issue has been particularly difficult.

The fact that WTO members have managed to find a compromise on such a complex issue is a testament to their goodwill. (5) The Heads of State and Government of the industrialized countries referred to this decision as a dramatic development in international intellectual property law. M. Kofi Annan, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, said that “the protection of intellectual property is the key to advancing new medicines, vaccines and diagnostic devices whose health of the world`s poorest is needed . . .

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.