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[e-drug] New paper on use of TRIPS flexibilities in procurement of medicines

E-DRUG: New paper on use of TRIPS flexibilities in procurement of medicines
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Dear e-drug readers,

Our paper on the use of TRIPS flexibilities in the procurement of medicines was 
published today by the WHO Bulletin. See here for the full paper: 

http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/96/3/17-199364.pdf 

Abstract

Medicine procurement and the use of flexibilities in the Agreement on 
Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, 2001-2016

Ellen FM 't Hoen, Jacquelyn Veraldi, Brigit Toebes & Hans V Hogerzeil

Millions of people, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, lack 
access to effective pharmaceuticals, often because they are unaffordable. The 
2001 Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) adopted the 
Doha Declaration on the TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property 
Rights) Agreement and Public Health. The declaration recognized the 
implications of intellectual property rights for both new medicine development 
and the price of medicines. The declaration outlined measures, known as TRIPS 
flexibilities, that WTO Members can take to ensure access to medicines for all. 

These measures include compulsory licensing of medicines patents and the 
least-developed countries pharmaceutical transition measure. The aim of this 
study was to document the use of TRIPS flexibilities to access lower-priced 
generic medicines between 2001 and 2016. Overall, 176 instances of the possible 
use of TRIPS flexibilities by 89 countries were identified: 100 (56.8%) 
involved compulsory licences or public noncommercial use licences and 40 
(22.7%) involved the least-developed countries pharmaceutical transition 
measure. The remainder were: 1 case of parallel importation; 3 research 
exceptions; and 32 non-patent-related measures. 

Of the 176 instances, 152 (86.4%) were implemented. They covered products for 
treating 14 different diseases. However, 137 (77.8%) concerned medicines for 
human immunodeficiency virus infection and acquired immune deficiency syndrome 
or related diseases. 

The use of TRIPS flexibilities was found to be more frequent than is commonly 
assumed. Given the problems faced by countries today in procuring high-priced, 
patented medicines, the practical, legal pathway provided by TRIPS 
flexibilities for accessing lower-cost generic equivalents is increasingly 
important

Kind regards,

Ellen
_______________________________
Ellen 't Hoen, LLM | Medicines Law & Policy
www.medicineslawandpolicy.org
My book: goo.gl/wcvAgh <https://goo.gl/wcvAgh>
ellenthoen@medicineslawandpolicy.net 
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