Minutes - TRIPS Council - View details of the intervention/statement

Ambassador Eduardo Pérez Motta (Mexico)
C.i Scope and coverage
27. The representative of Singapore said that product coverage should include medicines to deal with all public health problems and that limiting product coverage would not be useful. With respect to beneficiary importing countries, the Declaration referred only to countries with no or insufficient manufacturing capacity although this did not preclude a developing country from excluding itself from the ambit of the solution. With respect to those countries where the product was not patented, he said that any mechanism decided upon needed to be made applicable to them. He did not support the use of the World Bank criteria of per capita income as a basis to assess countries with insufficient or no manufacturing capacity and said that it was best to leave the determination of beneficiary importing country status to the individual Members themselves. He felt that laying down broad criteria applicable to all sectors could lead to greater complications in the solution. With respect to eligible supplying countries, he said that all WTO Members should be allowed to be potential suppliers because it would lead to competition and lower drug prices for the importing country. Turning to the issue of diversion, he said that adequate safeguards should be put in place by both importing and exporting countries. To maintain transparency in procedures, he said that both the TRIPS Council and the right holder of the patented product should be notified. In order to cut down on administrative costs, the same notice could be used for both sets of parties. On the question of legal mechanism, he said that, although a number of proposals had been put forward, it was important to maintain legal certainty as well as the integrity of the TRIPS Agreement itself.