The developing countries today face the complex challenge of implementing various international agreements that were negotiated during the Uruguay Round. In the process, they are becoming aware of the many far-reaching implications for their development, economies and societies inherent in some of these agreements.
The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) is a case in point. Its implementation is emerging as a major concern for all developing countries.
The present document was prepared with the intention of assisting the developing countries in their efforts to adapt their laws to the standards set by TRIPs in relation to pharmaceutical products and processes, in the context of a general concern that such legislative reform can have a major impact on people’s access to drugs and on public health policies in the South. In particular, the document aims to show that various options exist for developing countries in formulating their national legislation in conformity with the relevant provisions of TRIPs.
The importance of policy-oriented and technical analyses of this kind for developing countries is evident. They provide essential, practical tools to assist developing countries in promoting their national and global development objectives.
The author of this document is Carlos Correa, Director of the Masters Programme on Science and Technology Policy and Management at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. He was involved in the negotiations on TRIPs during the Uruguay Round and has since focused much of his professional work on examining questions concerning the global intellectual property regime. He is a lawyer and economist and has worked extensively on intellectual property issues as a consultant to UNCTAD, UNDP, and WHO, amongst others.