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NGO Letter to TRIPS Council Members: Provide exception to patent rights for exports of medicines and medical technologies to address public health needs

The following is a letter to the WTO TRIPS Council, signed by Medicins sans Frontieres (MSF), Consumer Project on Technology (CPTech), Oxfam International, Health Gap Coalition, Third World Network (TWN) and Essential Action. The letter focuses on paragraph 6 of the Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health, which instructs the WTO TRIPS Council to find an "expeditious solution" to problems countries may face in using compulsory licences when they lack the domestic capacity to in the pharmaceutical sector.

The letter urges the WTO Members to agree to an interpretation of the TRIPS Agreement which would allow an exception to patent rights to enable a WTO Member to export medicines and medical technologies, in order to address public health needs in a third country. The NGOs ask the WTO Members to recognise this exception to patent rights under the existing Article 30 of the TRIPS Agreement, setting out the rationale and advantages of such an approach. The NGOs further ask that the WTO members ensure that other solutions to the export issue are also available to developing countries.

Please click here to view the letter. [MS-Word document]

 


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