European Commission Supports Indefinite Exemption Of LDCs From IPRs On Pharmaceuticals 10/09/2015 by Intellectual Property Watch 4 Comments Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)By Catherine Saez In a communication today, the European Commission said it agrees to support a least developed country request at the World Trade Organization to prolong indefinitely a current exemption on the enforcement of IP on pharmaceutical products. Now the decision moves to the EU member states. “This exemption allows generic medicines to be imported, and produced locally, regardless of patents, for example when licenses are not available,” the Commission said in a press release. “It means producers of generics and international programmes can supply drugs like HIV treatment in affected countries without fear of patent infringement suits.” Least-developed countries (LDCs) have requested that the WTO Council for Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) prolong without end an exception that exonerates them from enforcing IP rights on pharmaceutical products. The exception has been extended before and is set to end at the close of year. LDCs have asked that this extension be indefinite. Another exemption on all products runs alongside the pharmaceutical products exemption until 2021. According to the release, Commissioner Malmström said although patents stimulate innovation in developed and emerging countries, IP rules should “be a non-issue when the world’s poorest are in need of treatment.” The exemption “will give the least developed countries the necessary legal certainty to procure or to produce generic medicines.” This decision now has to be confirmed by the European Council. This will determine the position of the EU at the next TRIPS Council meeting in October, the release said. Médecins Sans Frontières Director of Policy for the Access Campaign Rohit Malpani said the health advocacy organisation welcomes the announcement by the Commission. “We hope that the EU Member States in the Council swiftly follow suit.” “We applaud this important change in the EU position since the last time this issue was discussed at the WTO,” he said, urging the United States and Switzerland to also support the LDC request. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related "European Commission Supports Indefinite Exemption Of LDCs From IPRs On Pharmaceuticals" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.