Policy Brief 7, November 2011

The Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health Ten Years Later: The State of Implementation.

The Declaration on the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and Public Health was adopted on 14 November 2001 by the 4th World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Meeting at Doha, Qatar.

The declaration was made by the highest decision-making body of the WTO, with the aim of promoting a balanced interpretation and implementation of the provisions of the TRIPS Agreement in a manner that is supportive of a WTO Member’s right to protect public health and promote access to medicines for all.

The Doha Declaration reaffirmed that WTO members can make use of the public health related flexibilities of the TRIPS Agreement. However, there is considerable difficulty faced by developing and least developed countries in implementing these flexibilities in practice.

This policy brief seeks to examine the implementation of the Doha Declaration in the ten years since its adoption and the challenges of implementing the TRIPS flexibilities for ensuring access to affordable medicines. This brief also analyses the impact of the WTO General Council decision of 30th August 2003 implementing paragraph 6 of the Doha Declaration for facilitating access to medicines for countries with none or insufficient pharmaceutical manufacturing capacity.

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