WTO to allow poor countries to import generics
The amendment to the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) is now allowed poor countries to import generic drugs.Two-thirds of WTO members agreed a deal that a lot of people around the world were waited for almost a decade. World Trade Organization (WTO) Director General Roberto Azevedo told Reuters on Monday that new amendment will give people in poor countries access to drugs for diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
Before that, TRIPS agreement allowed low income countries to produce their own generic drugs, without the patent owners' consent using "compulsory licensing" mechanism. But it meant that poor and developing countries which are lack of industrial capacity were not able to produce generic drugs and were not allowed to import them to ensure access to the people in need.
The World Health Organization welcomed the decision but in her statement The WHO chief Margaret Chan stated that there are still a long way from reaching global equity in access to medicines, especially at a time when the costs of some new treatments are unsustainable and a lot of important decisions are still need to be done.