Report of the Inter-Regional Workshop on Intellectual Property Rights in the Context of Traditional Medicine (Bangkok, Thailand, 6-8 December 2000)
(2001; 52 pages) View the PDF document
Table of Contents
View the documentAcknowledgements
Open this folder and view contents1. Introduction
Close this folder2. The role of intellectual property rights in the context of traditional medicine
View the document2.1. Importance of traditional medicine
View the document2.2. Intellectual property rights for traditional knowledge
View the document2.3. Innovations based on traditional medicine knowledge
View the document2.4. Individuals and institutions involved in discovery and innovation based on the knowledge of traditional medicine
View the document2.5. Challenges to close the gap between existing patent laws and the need to protect traditional knowledge and biodiversity
View the document2.6. Briefing for the Workshop
View the document3. Globalization, the TRIPS Agreement and access to essential drugs
View the document4. Intellectual property rights
View the document5. Systems and national experience for protecting traditional knowledge, innovations and practices
Open this folder and view contents6. Problems and gaps in traditional medicine in relation to modern patent laws
View the document7. Group discussion on existing problems and gaps for the protection of traditional medicine knowledge
Open this folder and view contents8. Presentations on national patent law: means, experiences and proposals
View the document9. Recommendations
View the documentAnnex I. Message to the Workshop from Dr Uton Muchtar Rafei, Regional Director WHO South-East Asia Region
View the documentAnnex II. Welcome address from Dr Mongkol Na Songkhla, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Public Health, Thailand
View the documentAnnex III. Workshop Agenda
View the documentAnnex IV. List of Participants

2.1. Importance of traditional medicine

Dr Zhang highlighted the important role traditional medicine plays in developing countries. She explained that even in developed countries a significant percentage of people have used traditional medicine at least once, for example 50% in the USA, 75% in France and 90% in the United Kingdom. The level of expenditure on traditional medicine is also rising. A 1985 survey in Indonesia found the use of traditional medicine to be twice as great among households in the lowest income group compared to the highest income quartile. In Malaysia, it is estimated that about US$500 million is spent annually on traditional medicine, compared to about US$300 million on conventional medicine. In the US, the total out-of-pocket expenditure for complementary and alternative medicine was estimated at US$27 billion. In Australia, an estimated A$800 million is spent annually on complementary and alternative medicine and in the United Kingdom, annual expenditure on complementary and alternative medicine has reached £500 million. The world market for herbal medicines, including herbal products and raw materials, has been estimated to reached US$43 billion with an annual growth rate of between 5 and 15%.

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