ABOUT THE BOOK
High prices of patent-protected medicines have become a major public health concern in developing countries, especially since the coming into force of the World Trade Organization (WTO)’s TRIPS Agreement, which sets stringent patent norms for WTO member states. Nevertheless, despite providing for the patenting of medicines, the TRIPS Agreement does allow certain exceptions and flexibilities which are in line with the public interest.
This paper examines the TRIPS-permitted flexibilities – compulsory licensing, government use and parallel importation – which developing countries can make use of to override drug patents and make available more affordable medicines.
The author also cautions, however, that a new wave of bilateral “free trade agreements” (FTAs) between developed and developing countries effectively erode these flexibilities by imposing even stricter patent standards than those in the TRIPS Agreement. If left unchecked, the trend towards such “TRIPS-plus” FTAs threatens to undermine access to essential medicines by poor patients throughout the developing world.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
KHOR is the Director of the
2. National Public Health Measures that are TRIPS-Consistent
Importing the Drug
Export, Including to Countries with Inadequate Manufacturing Capacity
3. Use of TRIPS Flexibilities: Recent Experiences
4. Implications of Bilateral FTAs on Implementation of TRIPS Flexibilities Regarding Public Health
Increasing Awareness of IPR Problems in Multilateral Context
Dangers of Bilateral FTAs in Eroding TRIPS Flexibilities
Thai Human Rights Commission Report
Some Recent Cases of Compulsory Licensing for AIDS Drugs
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