WTO: Nepal, Tanzania, Ukraine Accept Health Amendment To TRIPS Agreement 18/03/2016 by Intellectual Property Watch 1 Comment 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) The World Trade Organization said today that momentum continues to build among member states to accept a public health amendment to the WTO intellectual property rights agreement, as three more countries adopted it in the past week. At issue is 2005 amendment to the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), which encompassed an August 2003 informal waiver to TRIPS rules aimed at making more affordable medicines available to poor countries. This agreement was also referred to as the Paragraph 6 solution since it was originally mandated to be solved under paragraph 6 of the 2001 WTO Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health. The WTO’s Roger Kampf recently completed an in-depth study on the Paragraph 6 system (IPW, WTO/TRIPS, 12 October 2015), complete with suggestions for ways to analyse the system and take it forward. The study showed that a large number of WTO members have implemented the amendment. It was not clear at press time exactly how many more are needed. [paragraph corrected] [Update: retired WTO Press Officer Peter Ungphakorn has noted on Twitter that 108 WTO members total need to approve the amendment for it to go into effect, and that there is an outstanding question whether the European Union acceptance represented one or 27/28 members).] The full WTO press release from today is reprinted below: “Acceptance of the protocol amending the WTO’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) is gaining further momentum. Two least developed countries, Nepal and Tanzania, as well as Ukraine deposited their instruments of acceptance on 11 March, 14 March and 16 March respectively. MORE: > Intellectual property The protocol amending the TRIPS Agreement, which was adopted in 2005, is intended to make it easier for poorer WTO members to access affordable medicines. The protocol allows exporting countries to grant compulsory licenses (one that is granted without the patent holder’s consent) to their generic suppliers to manufacture and export medicines to countries that cannot manufacture the needed medicines themselves. These licenses were originally limited to predominantly supplying the domestic market. The protocol will enter into force once two-thirds of the WTO membership has formally accepted it. The three countries’ acceptances mark a major step towards the threshold. The up-to-date list and map of members that have accepted the Protocol are available here. More information on the issue of TRIPS and public health is available here.” 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 "WTO: Nepal, Tanzania, Ukraine Accept Health Amendment To TRIPS Agreement" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.