WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION
Doha, 9 - 14 November 2001
14 November 2001
DECLARATION ON THE TRIPS AGREEMENT AND PUBLIC HEALTH
1. We recognize the
gravity of the public health problems afflicting many developing and
least-developed countries, especially those resulting from HIV/AIDS,
tuberculosis, malaria and other epidemics.
2. We stress the need for the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related
Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement) to be part of
the wider national and international action to address these problems.
3. We recognize that intellectual property protection is
important for the development of new medicines. We also recognize the
concerns about its effects on prices.
4. We agree that the TRIPS Agreement does not and should not
prevent Members from taking measures to protect public health.
Accordingly, while reiterating our commitment to the TRIPS Agreement, we
affirm that the Agreement can and should be interpreted and implemented
in a manner supportive of WTO Members' right to protect public health
and, in particular, to promote access to medicines for all.
In this connection, we reaffirm the right of WTO Members to use, to the
full, the provisions in the TRIPS Agreement, which provide flexibility
for this purpose.
5. Accordingly and in the light of paragraph 4 above, while
maintaining our commitments in the TRIPS Agreement, we recognize that
these flexibilities include:
(a) In applying the customary rules of interpretation of public
international law, each provision of the TRIPS Agreement shall be read
in the light of the object and purpose of the Agreement as expressed, in
particular, in its objectives and principles.
(b) Each Member has the right to grant compulsory licences and
the freedom to determine the grounds upon which such licences are
(c) Each Member has the right to determine what constitutes a
national emergency or other circumstances of extreme urgency, it being
understood that public health crises, including those relating to
HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other epidemics, can represent a
national emergency or other circumstances of extreme urgency.
(d) The effect of the provisions in the TRIPS Agreement that are
relevant to the exhaustion of intellectual property rights is to leave
each Member free to establish its own regime for such exhaustion without
challenge, subject to the MFN and national treatment provisions of
Articles 3 and 4.
6. We recognize that WTO Members with insufficient or no
manufacturing capacities in the pharmaceutical sector could face
difficulties in making effective use of compulsory licensing under the
TRIPS Agreement. We instruct the Council for TRIPS to find an
expeditious solution to this problem and to report to the General
Council before the end of 2002.
7. We reaffirm the commitment of developed-country Members to
provide incentives to their enterprises and institutions to promote and
encourage technology transfer to least-developed country Members
pursuant to Article 66.2. We also agree that the least-developed country
Members will not be obliged, with respect to pharmaceutical products, to
implement or apply Sections 5 and 7 of Part II of the TRIPS Agreement or
to enforce rights provided for under these Sections until 1 January
2016, without prejudice to the right of least-developed country Members
to seek other extensions of the transition periods as provided for in
Article 66.1 of the TRIPS Agreement. We instruct the Council for TRIPS
to take the necessary action to give effect to this pursuant to Article
66.1 of the TRIPS Agreement.