Compulsory Licensing for Public Health Needs: The TRIPS Agenda at the WTO after the Doha Declaration on Public Health
Quaker United Nations Office (Geneva) (QUNO), Occasional Paper 9, February 2002
58 Pages Posted: 28 Dec 2011
Paragraph 6 of the Doha Declaration directs the WTO Council for TRIPS (“TRIPS Council”) to address the problems that Members with insufficient or no manufacturing capacity may have in making effective use of compulsory licensing, and to report to the General Council by the end of 2002. Paragraph 6 frames in a rather limited way a set of concerns raised by developing Members. This set of concerns relates to the foreseeable reduction of off-patent medicines that will be available for export and import as TRIPS Agreement transition periods applicable to developing and least developed countries expire. It concerns the ability of Members to grant compulsory licenses that predominantly supply import markets of other Members, and the right of Members to make use of the Article 30 TRIPS Agreement exception to authorize the making and export of pharmaceutical products. Ultimately, it implicates deeper concerns regarding restrictions the TRIPS Agreement imposes on Members in the adoption of exceptions to patenting and on safeguard measures taken to address public health needs.
This paper addresses in detail options for amending the TRIPS Agreement to fulfill the objective of the Doha Declaration to promote access to medicines for all.
Keywords: TRIPS Agreement, Doha Declaration, Paragraph 6, Compulsory license, developing countries
JEL Classification: F15, H41, I18, K33, O34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation