The Jean Chretien Pledge to Africa Act: Patent Law and Humanitarian Aid

Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Patents, Vol. 15, No. 7, pp. 889-909, July 2005

Posted: 20 Jun 2005

See all articles by Matthew Rimmer

Matthew Rimmer

Queensland University of Technology (QUT)

Abstract

This article evaluates the implementation of the WTO General Council Decision in 2003, which resolved that developed nations could export patented pharmaceutical drugs to member states in order to address public health issues - such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other epidemics. The Jean Chretien Pledge to Africa Act 2004 (Canada) provides authorisation for the export of pharmaceutical drugs from Canada to developing countries to address public health epidemics. The European Union has issued draft regulations governing the export of pharmaceutical drugs. A number of European countries - including Norway, the Netherlands, France, and Switzerland - are seeking to pass domestic legislation to give force to the WTO General Council Decision. Australia has shown little initiative in seeking to implement such international agreements dealing with access to essential medicines. It is argued that Australia should implement humanitarian legislation to embody the WTO General Council Decision, emulating models in Canada, Norway, and the European Union. Ideally, there should be no right of first refusal; the list of pharmaceutical drugs should be open-ended; and the eligible importing countries should not be limited to members of the WTO.

Keywords: Patent Law, Pharmaceutical Drugs, Compulsory Licensing, World Trade Organization, Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health, WTO General Council Decision, Access to Essential Medicines, HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria

Suggested Citation

Rimmer, Matthew, The Jean Chretien Pledge to Africa Act: Patent Law and Humanitarian Aid. Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Patents, Vol. 15, No. 7, pp. 889-909, July 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=680222

Matthew Rimmer (Contact Author)

Queensland University of Technology (QUT) ( email )

Level 4, C Block Gardens Point
2 George St
Brisbane, Queensland QLD 4000
Australia

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