Effects of TRIPSPlus Provisions in International Trade Agreements Upon Access to Medicines in Developing Countries
Journal of Intellectual Property Rights (JIPR) :  ISSN: 0975-1076 (Online); 0971-7544 (Print) JIPR Vol.22(6) [November 2017] Page(s): 295-302
14 Pages Posted: 31 May 2017 Last revised: 22 May 2018
Date Written: May 18, 2017
Though the UN has envisaged that accessibility to essential medicines is a basic human right, a large number of people in developing countries are denied access to essential medicines. Multinational corporations that have branded medicines have a tendency to choke the supply chain of cheaper generic medicines using the weapon of intellectual property rights. The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement) has set the minimum standard of protection of Intellectual Property but it has provisions of flexibilities such as compulsory licenses, parallel imports limitations to patent rights, etc., which can be used by member states to provide their people with access to these essential medicines. However, countries like the US are using provisions which are over and above the flexibilities incorporated in TRIPS to deny access to essential medicines to people in developing countries. This paper examines the accessibility of essential medicines to the populations of developing countries, as affected by free trade agreements, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and argues that developing countries should cooperate to deter the US from choking the supply lines of essential medicines to the poor and needy.
Keywords: Intellectual Property Rights, Doha Declaration, TRIPS, TRIPS Plus, TRIPS- Flexibilities, Free Trade Agreements, ACTA, TPP, TTIP, and Access to Medicines.
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