LDCs Pharmaceutical Patent Waiver Agreed Until January 2033 in WTO with the Support of Civil Societies


Dhaka, 4th November 2015. In a recent high level meeting on 29th October between US Ambassador Michel Punke and representative of the LDC group, Ambassador Shammem Ahsan and Ambassador Christoper from Uganda, it was agreed that there will be 17 years i.e., up to January 2033 of pharmaceutical patent exemptions. It is expected that the decision will be formally adopted in the Council of the Trade – related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) meeting to be held on 6th November at WTO. The waivers will also have to endorse by WTO Ministerial Conference to be held at the end of this year at Nairobi. News gathered from trade diplomats in Geneva.
EquityBD Chief Moderator Rezaul Karim Chowdhury said that this is another one milestone achievement for Bangladesh leadership for LDCs and track 2 diplomacy i.e. civil societies’ continuous support and mobilization for LDCs demand in last few years.
The patent waiver supposes to be end during January 2016. On behalf of LDCs, Bangladesh has given the application some time ago in this regard, LDC demand was to get this patent waiver until LDCs are graduated as developed country. Such logic or reasons has came out of history where developed countries like Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States has not given patent rights to other countries until their own country companies have had not developed. There was also a reasons is that such a patents rights will also have impact on essential medicine price in developing countries, where poverty and health problems are rampant. It is the US who has opposed the patent waiver until the graduation and US was pleading to give it for 10 years only.
Such an LDC demand was unconditionally supported by developing countries, EU and various UN bodies and civil societies across the world. In Bangladesh around 30 right based civil society organizations, including several labor, farmers and trade unions bodies, leaded by EquityBD have had a press conference on 10th October and a seminar on 2013, and wrote letters to US trade ambassadors and in favor of LDCs demand.

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