AMENDMENTS TO TRIPS IN ORDER TO EASE ACCESS TO MEDICINES IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
On January 23th, article 31 bis entered into force. The amendment, approved by two-thirds of the WTO members, allows countries with limited or no capacity of manufacturing drugs to import patented drugs from a third country under special conditions.
However, the patentee has to receive a payment and the compulsory license will be limited to the purpose of meeting the needs of the importing countries.
In 2005, some Asian countries negotiated compulsory licenses for export during the avian flu pandemic. Nonetheless, a deal was reached before any license was ever implemented.