Network for Monitoring the Impact of Globalization and TRIPS on Access to Medicines, Meeting Report, 19-21 February 2001, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand - Health Economics and Drugs Series No. 011
(2002; 67 pages) View the PDF document
Table of Contents
Open this folder and view contents1. Introduction
View the document2. Highlights of opening address of Dr Supachai Panitchpakdi
Close this folder3. 1Globalization, TRIPS and Access to Pharmaceuticals
View the documentA new era in global trade
View the documentWTO Agreements
View the documentImplementation and dispute settlement
Close this folderKey requirements of the TRIPS Agreement
View the documentPatent protection
View the documentRights conferred
View the documentTransitional arrangements
View the documentPublic health and TRIPS
View the documentPatentability
View the documentGeneric drugs
View the documentCompulsory licensing
View the documentParallel imports
View the documentTRIPS-plus provisions
View the documentNon-WTO Members
View the documentEvaluating impacts of trade agreements
Open this folder and view contentsWHO Perspectives on Access to Drugs
View the document4. Further Reading
View the document5. Template of selected model indicators for studying the impact of globalization and TRIPS on access to medicines
Open this folder and view contents6. Selected indicators for studying the impact of globalization and TRIPS on access to medicines
View the document7. The Collaborating Centres

Compulsory licensing

Compulsory licensing enables a competent government authority to license the use of an invention to a third party or government agency without the consent of the patent-holder. The patent-holder, however, retains intellectual property rights and “shall be paid adequate remuneration” according to the circumstances of the case (Article 31). In the pharmaceutical sector compulsory licences have been used to stimulate price-lowering competition and to ensure availability of needed medicines. Most developed countries and many developing countries now provide for compulsory licensing through national legislation.

A comprehensive patent regime should include adequate provision for the granting of compulsory licences. Grounds for compulsory licensing may include public interest, problems linked with national emergencies such as epidemics, public non-commercial use, or anti-competitive practices (Article 31). Whether or not compulsory licences are issued, national legislation which provides for compulsory licensing allows governments to provide the medicine in the case of abuse of rights by the patent-holder, or commercial non-availability. Any such use should be authorized predominantly for the supply of the domestic market of the Member authorizing such use (Article 31f).

Compulsory licences must be granted on a non-exclusive basis. Since the TRIPS Agreement provides for non-discrimination between locally produced and imported products (Article 27/1), a compulsory licence may be granted for importation to satisfy local needs (Article 31).

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