Facilitating Compulsory Licensing Under Trips in Response to the Aids Crisis in Developing Countries
17 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2005
Date Written: August 2005
The AIDS crisis in the developing world has become a priority for international collaboration. The challenge is to find a balance between the acknowledged need to protect large investments expended in developing new medicines and the goal of providing essential medicines to poor countries. Patent protection must prevent undue infringement yet at the same time allow solutions to humanitarian needs. Is compulsory licensing a way out? TRIPS originally restricted compulsory manufacturing licenses to the country experiencing a public health emergency - which was of little utility to countries lacking manufacturing capacity. The Doha agreement effectively permits twinned compulsory licensing - a distribution and use license in countries experiencing a public health emergency and a manufacturing-for-export license in countries possessing appropriate manufacturing capacity. These changes make possible, at least in principle, a greater source of supply of generic pharmaceuticals for use in those least developed countries confronting the AIDS crisis. It is still early to evaluate the results from the Doha agreement, but it appears that the agreed measures may entice ordinary market forces to start making contributions to an improving situation.
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