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Title: Doha Declaration and Public Health Issues
Authors: Lalitha, N
Keywords: Doha Declaration
Compulsory licensing
Access to medicines
Issue Date: Sep-2008
Publisher: CSIR
Abstract: Adhering to the TRIPS Agreement in the pharmaceutical sector poses several questions before developing countries and least developed countries concerning public health. These are: Would the TRIPS Agreement and product patent regime affect access to medicines for the public? What are the options available for countries that face health crises? The Doha Declaration provides for access to medicines particularly by simplifying the compulsory licensing (CL) clause. A brief look at the countries that have utilized the CL option highlights that all such countries have been facing a rapidly spreading HIV/AIDS epidemic, medicines for which are produced under patents by multinationals. Hence, while some countries have actually issued a CL to a third party or a government department to produce or import the patented drug, some countries have used the CL option as a negotiating strategy to get a steep reduction in the price so as to facilitate access to medicines in the public health care. The amendments carried out by the Indian government also facilitate production of generic versions of patented drugs that would facilitate exports under the CL option as well. Though the Doha Declaration facilitates access to medicines, some of the free trade agreements are drafted in such a way that the least developed countries can not exercise the flexibilities. However, in order to facilitate the options available in the Doha Declaration, countries will have to incorporate the necessary changes in their national laws.
Page(s): 401-413
ISSN: 0971-5544
Source:JIPR Vol.13(5) [September 2008]

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