This paper has been produced with the support of the Department of Essential Drugs and Medicines Policy (EDM) of the World Health Organization (WHO).
An expert consultation was organized by WHO/EDM and hosted by the Ford Foundation on 25 March 2004 in New York. The author wishes to acknowledge the valuable comments and inputs made by the participants at the consultation as follows: Ambassador Boniface Chidyausiku, Permanent Representative to the United Nations New York, Mission of Zimbabwe; Ross Duncan, Health Canada; Richard Elliot, Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network; Christopher Garrison, Médecins sans Frontières; Heinz Klug, University of Wisconsin; Kamal Malhotra, United Nations Development Programme; Butch Montes, the Ford Foundation; Sisule Frederick Musungu, South Centre; Cecilia Oh, WHO/EDM; Jerome Reichman, Duke University; Anthony So, Duke University; Francoise Torchiana, Ethical Globalisation Initiative; Robert Weissman, Essential Information; Desmond Johns, the UNAIDS Secretariat; Antony Taubman, World Intellectual Property Office; Germán Velásquez, WHO/EDM; Jayashree Watal, World Trade Organization; and David Winters, the Ford Foundation.
Thanks are also due to Alex Capron and Nick Drager of WHO/Ethics, Trade, Human Rights and Health Law for their support and collaboration in the production of this paper.
An informal technical discussion, held from 31 May to 1 June 2004 and attended by WHO Representatives and government officials from Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, also reviewed the paper from the legal and practical aspects of implementation. Participants at this meeting included the following: Muhammad Farid Wong bin Abdullah, Ministry of Health, Malaysia; Mawarwati Djamaluddin, Linda Sitanggang, Endang Woro and Dimas Samodra Rum, National Agency of Drug and Food Control, Republic of Indonesia; Herliza and Mujayadi, Ministry of Industry and International Trade, Republic of Indonesia; Parlagutan Lubis and Dede Mia Yusanti, Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, Republic of Indonesia; Yuwadee Patanawong and Suchart Chongprasert, Ministry of Public Health, Thailand; Carlos Correa, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina; Germán Velásquez, WHO/EDM; Krisantha Weerasuriya, WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia; and Karin Timmermans, WHO Indonesia.
While participants in the review process had differing perspectives, there was general consensus among them that the general approach adopted in the paper is appropriate - that the interpretation and definition of provisions in the WTO General Council Decision on the Implementation of Paragraph 6 of the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health should facilitate the public health objective of ensuring access to medicines.
Any views expressed are the views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the World Health Organization (WHO). The author is solely responsible for the opinions expressed herein.
This document has been edited by Robert Weissman.