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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
Open this folder and view contents2. The role of intellectual property rights in the context of traditional medicine
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

7. Group discussion on existing problems and gaps for the protection of traditional medicine knowledge

The Participants were divided into two groups to discuss the existing problems and gaps in traditional medicine vis-a-vis modern patent law. The problem areas and gaps identified by the two groups were further deliberated in plenary session. The problem areas and gaps identified are summarized below:

• Lack of a national policy to develop traditional medicine and lack of organizational infrastructure to utilize traditional medicine in the national health care system

• Lack of any system for traditional medicine protection and equitable sharing of benefits

• The importance and prioritization of traditional medicine has not been fully recognized and explicitly mentioned by various international health organizations

• Absence of formal or informal mechanisms for the participation of traditional healers in policy making and intellectual property development

• Lack of mechanism or strategy for equitable benefit sharing among all stakeholders

• Lack of policy and regulations for the protection of biodiversity and traditional medicine knowledge

• Lack of understanding of intellectual property rights system among stakeholders

• Lack of mechanism for developing linkages between traditional medicine of different countries

• Lack of appreciation of the potential of traditional medicine to solve the health problems of developing countries

• Lack of understanding, awareness, communication and respect between traditional medicine and intellectual property rights offices

• Differences between the concepts and fundamentals of traditional medicine and modern medicine

• Limited applicability of existing intellectual property rights laws to protect traditional medicine knowledge from biopiracy

• Inability to meet the cost of requiring, exercising and enforcing intellectual property rights for the holders of traditional medicine knowledge

The two groups also made suggestions and recommendations to address the problems and gaps in relation to patent protection in the context of traditional medicine and traditional medicine knowledge. The recommendations were further discussed in plenary session and the final outcome is reported under the Workshop recommendations in Section 9.


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