TACD Resolution on Global Access to Health Care
TACD TRADE COMMITTEE
May 4, 2001
IP and Healthcare
CPT Main Country Page
- The United States and the European Union have both undertaken serious
and constructive reviews of trade policy as it relates to access to
medicines, and these reviews have produced many important and beneficial
changes in trade policy, as well as increased attention to problems of
access to medicines, and the need to enhance research and development on
important public health concerns.
- The United States and the European Union and its member
countries should enter into agreements with the World Health
Organization, UNAIDS, UNICEF and other global public health
organizations, to enable these organizations to use patents that were
developed with public support, to expand access to health care in poor
- The US and the EU should communicate to the WTO TRIPS council
that they will support policies to ensure that compulsory licensing of
medicines will also benefit small market countries. Specifically, that
mechanisms to enable production of medicines for export markets will be
supported where such exports benefit public health and where the
legitimate rights of patent owners are protected in the markets where
the products are used.
- The US and the EU should communicate to the WTO TRIPS Council
that they support an exemption from the TRIPS obligation to provide
patents on medicines for the least developed countries, as is permitted
under the TRIPS agreement.
- The US and the EU should ask the World Health Organization to
report on the capacity of poor countries to evaluate patent claims on
medical inventions, the costs of doing so, and the costs of patent
litigation in poor countries, and the policy implications of the
capacity of poor countries to examine and litigate patent claims.
- The US and the EU should support the NGO call for a global
convention on supporting Research and Development (R&D), including
support for AIDS and malaria vaccines, low cost diagnostic technologies
and other appropriate technologies, new drugs for tuberculosis, malaria
and other neglected diseases, as well as other global R&D efforts, such
as basic research, development of drugs for severe illnesses, and other
research that benefits the public health. Such a convention should
include agreements to provide public funding for such research and
development, as is appropriate given the immense suffering and economic
costs of these diseases. Also, the inventions from such funding should
be licensed in a manner consistent with the greatest global public
- The US and the EU should ask WIPO, WHO and the WTO to propose
alternative methods of burden sharing for R&D for poor countries that
cannot effectively manage a European and US patent system.
- The US and the EU should ask the G7 countries to support sufficient
levels of donor support for health care needs in poor countries, and
that this donor support not be tied to country policies on patents or
other intellectual property concerns.
- In expanding access to medicine, the U.S. and the EU should avoid
patent extensions, corporate subsidies and other donor programs that
have anticompetitive consequences, lack transparency, and are not
- The US and the EU should support true technology transfer
policies with the developing countries, and not undermine national
efforts to develop domestic pharmaceutical and biotechnology
- The US should withdraw its WTO action against Brazil on the
Brazil compulsory licensing legislation. If the US wants to test local
working issues in the context of the TRIPS it should address this issue
in disputes with OECD member countries that have such provisions in
their own national laws.
- The US and the EU should not insist that countries adopt
protections under Article 39.3 of the TRIPS that would be
anticompetitive or undermine compulsory licensing.
- The US and the EU should report to the TACD on the efforts that
are being undertaken to improve the quality of generic drugs in poor