Decision on WTO LDC TRIPS Pharmaceutical Waiver Extension: Only 17 Years!
Our year-long advocacy for an indefinite transition period of exemption/waiver to LDCs for pharmaceutical products has now ended with the final deal reached! Please see attached, the statement released by LDC Watch critiquing the weak deal.
Yesterday 6th November, the WTO TRIPS Council adopted the decision to grant 17-year transition period of exemption/waiver to LDCs regarding pharmaceutical products. We have expressed our disappointment and critique over this weak deal which is only 3 years more compared to the existing one (which ends this year) of 14 years granted in 2001. We had been advocating for an indefinite transition period of exemption/waiver, until a country exits the LDC category, given continual gross health challenges in LDCs.
Please also see attached, the joint NGO statement released by some of the groups in the South (including LDC Watch) and North who were engaged with governments in the advocacy. The statement is covered on http://www.ip-watch.org/weblog/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Joint-NGO-StatementFinal.pdf
The United States and the LDCs had agreed to a 17-year transition period on 29 October at a high-level meeting between US Ambassador Michael Punke and representatives of the LDC Group, Ambassador Shameem Ahsan from Bangladesh and Ambassador Christopher Onyanga Aparr from Uganda. The US had initially offered only a 10-year transition period.
Please see related articles:
- TWN Info Service on WTO and Trade Issues (Nov15/02)
- Unconditional 17-year exemption from pharmaceuticals patents agreed
- 17-year exemption from pharmaceuticals patents for LDCs agreed
- Unconditional 17-Year Exemption from Pharmaceuticals Patents Agreed