[Ip-health] PHM Statement on the 19th anniversary of Doha Declaration onTRIPS and Public Health

K.M. Gopakumar kumargopakm at gmail.com
Fri Nov 13 05:04:33 PST 2020


Twitter- https://twitter.com/PHMglobal/status/1327152686018519040

*PHM Statement on the 19th anniversary of Doha Declaration on TRIPS and
Public Health*

WTO Member States adopted the historical Doha Declaration on the TRIPS
Agreement and Public Health (Doha Declaration
on 14th November 2001. The Doha Declaration recognized the gravity of
public health issues in developing and least-developed countries and
reiterated the rights of WTO Member States to make use of the flexibilities
in the TRIPS Agreement to promote access to medicines for all. The adoption
of the Doha Declaration paved the way for the issuance of compulsory
licenses in many developing countries to ensure access to medicines such as
HIV/AIDS medications.

There is now an urgent need to address the availability and accessibility
of medical products (including personal protective equipment, vaccines,
medicines and diagnostics) for an effective response to COVID-19
pandemic.  Many
countries are financing big pharma companies for the innovation of medical
products for COVID 19 responses.  Medical products developed through public
funding should be treated as global public goods and the companies
undertaking research using public money should transfer the technology in a
transparent manner to scale up production to ensure availability and
accessibility across the globe. Multiple forms of IP protection especially
copyrights, trade secrets, industrial design, and patents can legally
prevent the dissemination of technology and scaling-up of local production.

PHM welcomes the joint proposal of India, Kenya, South Africa and Eswatini
seeking a waiver from the TRIPS obligations concerning the protection and
enforcement of copyright, trade secret, industrial design, and patent on
COVID-19 medical products (Waiver Proposal
is perfectly in line with the spirit and intent of the Doha declaration.  Such
a waiver will not only facilitate the availability and affordability of
these medical products through local production butwill facilitate speedy
innovation of COVID19 medical products by enabling transfer of know-how.

Further, such a waiver will bring legal clarity concerning the policy space
available to WTO Member States and encourage them to remove the IP barriers
preventing the local production
of COVID-19 medical products. In this context we recall that the Doha
Declaration recognized that, “*TRIPS Agreement does not and should not
prevent Members from taking measures to protect public health.*”

We call upon all the WTO Member States to uphold the spirit of the Doha
Declaration and support the adoption of the Waiver Proposal. We strongly
urge those WTO Member States, who are opposing the adoption of the Waiver
Proposal, not to hold peoples’ lives at ransom for the protection of
corporate profit.

We call upon individuals, social movements and civil society organisations
to endorse and support the statement and actively advocate
<https://phmovement.org/the-india-south-africa-waiver-proposal/> with their
governments for the adoption of the TRIPS Waiver proposal. Please send you
endorsements to prasanna at phmovement.org  by 18th November.

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