[Ip-health] pharmabiz: WHO DG supports LDCs' request for extension of transition period for implementation of TRIPS Agreement
thiru at keionline.org
Fri Feb 8 03:17:57 PST 2013
WHO DG supports LDCs' request for extension of transition period for implementation of TRIPS Agreement
Ramesh Shankar, Mumbai
Friday, February 08, 2013, 08:00 Hrs [IST]
The World Health Organisation (WHO)'s Director-General Dr Margaret Chan has supported the Least Developed Countries' (LDCs) request to the WTO TRIPS Council for an extension of the LDC transition period for implementation of TRIPS Agreement. The current transition period expires on July 1, 2013.
According to experts, such an extension will have a huge positive impact on major pharmaceutical markets like India.
At the launch of the joint WHO/WIPO/WTO report on Promoting access to medical technologies and innovation in Geneva on February 5, Dr Chan said, “I fully respect the sovereignty of the multilateral systems in WTO and WIPO. From a public health perspective, an extension of this transition period is worth consideration.”
On November 5, 2012, Haiti on behalf of the group of LDCs had submitted a duly motivated request to the WTO TRIPS Council for an extension of the LDC transition period, until a member ceases to be a LDC (IP/C/W/583).
Granting the LDCs the transition period is critical, if LDCs are to fully benefit from flexibilities available under the TRIPS agreement. LDCs are the most vulnerable countries, and face many challenges. An extension of transition period will give LDCs the flexibility they need to address the numerous challenges they face such as access to medicines, access to knowledge, access to seed, access to environmentally sound technologies etc., experts say.
Meanwhile, NGOs and experts have also called upon the WTO members to honour their TRIPS obligations under Article 66.1 which says, “In view of the special needs and requirements of least-developed country Members, their economic, financial and administrative constraints, and their need for flexibility to create a viable technological base, such Members shall not be required to apply the provisions of this Agreement, other than Articles 3, 4 and 5, for a period of 10 years from the date of application as defined under paragraph 1 of Article 65. The Council for TRIPS shall, upon duly motivated request by a least-developed country Member, accord extensions of this period.”
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