A longstanding aim of the World Health Organization is to support Member States to ensure the accessibility of quality essential drugs and their rational use. Access to essential drugs is a key priority for WHO and, in collaboration with Member States and relevant partners, the Organization will keep working to improve access to essential drugs. Current trends towards trade globalization will have a potential impact on access to essential drugs in many countries, and it is WHO’S view that particular attention needs to be paid to ensuring that access to these drugs is as good as possible.
In line with its Revised Drug Strategy, WHO, in close cooperation with Member States and with relevant partner organizations, will analyse and monitor the public health implications of international agreements, including the Trade Related Aspects of the Intellectual Property Rights Agreement (TRIPS). This includes informing Member States on provisions relating to the public health safeguards included as part of the TRIPS Agreement.
The publication of this booklet is to provide brief and practical information about the TRIPS Agreement, especially those related to pharmaceuticals, to relevant parties who are involved in policy-making and in the provision and implementation of health and pharmaceutical services. This booklet does not cover all provisions in the agreement in great detail, but only those most relevant to pharmaceuticals.
I hope that this publication will help readers to understand various issues related to the TRIPS agreement, especially regarding those measures designed to safeguard public health.
Dr Shigeru Omi