Impact Assessment of TRIPS Plus Provisions on Health Expenditure and Access to Medicines. Report of a workshop organized by the International Health Policy Program, Ministry of Public Health, Thailand and the World Health Organization, Regional Office for South-East Asia, Bangkok, 22-24 November 2006
(2007; 24 pages)

Abstract

The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) has harmonized standards for intellectual property protection among Member countries of the World Trade Organization (WTO). For most developing countries, these new standards are higher (i.e. offer more protection to the right-owners) than their pre-TRIPS standards. Thus, the implementation of TRIPS has led to concerns, notably with regard to the potential negative implications on prices of, and access to, medicines. While most developing countries have yet to experience the full impact of implementing the TRIPS standards, increasingly, demands are being made to increase the level of intellectual property rights (IPR) protection even further. Such standards are oft referred to as “TRIPS-plus”.

The fast changing global environment of IPR regimes and policies may, with varying degrees of uncertainty, affect key elements of pharmaceutical markets, such as competition, prices, expenditures, consumption and access. The balance between imports and domestic pharmaceutical production may also be affected. These uncertainties raise to new policy questions, and currently economic modeling methodologies are being developed to cater to the information-needs of policy makers...

The objective of the workshop was to build and/or strengthen regional and national capacity to assess the economic impact of TRIPS-plus provisions on the expenses and access to essential new medicines in general, and HIV/AIDS medicines in specific.

 
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