The Trips Agreement, Access to Medicines and the WTO Doha Ministerial Conference

43 Pages Posted: 8 Oct 2001

See all articles by Frederick M. Abbott

Frederick M. Abbott

Florida State University - College of Law

Date Written: October 2001


On June 19, 2001, the WTO TRIPS Council held its first meeting on the implications of the TRIPS Agreement for access to medicines and public health. In connection with that meeting, and a follow on meeting of July 25, 2001, WTO Members have made a number of specific observations regarding the terms, structure and spirit of the Agreement.

This report analyzes issues presented by the TRIPS Agreement and its present and prospective impact on access to medicines. A number of these issues have previously been raised and analyzed by this author and other commentators, and the discussions initiated in the TRIPS Council already focus on several of them. Nevertheless, it may be useful to consider in a relatively concise and systematic format the central elements of discussion in connection with the prospective Ministerial Conference in Doha on November 9-13, 2001.

There are two ultimate objectives of this report. The first is to assist Members in formulating recommendations regarding a possible Doha Ministerial Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health, or a near-term formal interpretation of the TRIPS Agreement. The second is to raise issues that might more appropriately be the subject of a longer-term review of the TRIPS Agreement.

Suggested Citation

Abbott, Frederick M., The Trips Agreement, Access to Medicines and the WTO Doha Ministerial Conference (October 2001). FSU College of Law, Public Law Working Paper No. 36 and QUNO Occasional Paper No. 7, Available at SSRN: or

Frederick M. Abbott (Contact Author)

Florida State University - College of Law ( email )

425 W. Jefferson Street
Tallahassee, FL 32306
United States
850-644-1572 (Phone)
850-645-4862 or 917-591-3112 (Fax)

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