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

Ambassador Eduardo Pérez Motta (Mexico)
C.i Scope and coverage
49. The representative of the Philippines said that, on the basis of the discussion so far, an authoritative interpretation of Article 30 seemed to be the most expeditious solution that would also maintain the integrity of the TRIPS Agreement itself. He said that his country, along with many other developing countries, had always maintained that the Declaration should be read and construed in its entirety. While paragraph 6 referred only to insufficient or lack of manufacturing capacity, it was clear that the aim of the Declaration was to deal with public health problems and promote access to pharmaceutical products for all. Clearly, any solution made under this mandate should refer to product coverage for patented products intended to address public health problems, including, but not limited to, those diseases listed in paragraph 1. With respect to active substances and diagnostic kits, he said that he shared the views of other developing countries that any related product that helped protect and promote public health should be included in the product coverage. 50. He said that, with respect to beneficiary importing countries, paragraph 4 of the Declaration affirmed the right of every WTO Member to protect public health and promote access to medicines. The Declaration did not limit this right to a particular set of Members, nor did it qualify those Members who were entitled to promote access to medicines. In fact, he said that the Declaration stated that access to medicines should be promoted for all. Given this mandate, there was no reason to restrict this right to only a few countries. The only limitation on the applicability of the benefits and flexibilities to be provided, he said, was to be found in paragraph 6 itself in that this was to be limited to only those Members with no or insufficient manufacturing capacity in the pharmaceutical sector. It was, however, the prerogative of any country that wished to exclude itself from taking advantage of the solution to do so. 51. In terms of the assessment of insufficient or no manufacturing capacity, he said that each country should be able to carry out this assessment for itself. He agreed with Malaysia that such an assessment should take account not only of technological capability but also of economic viability and economies of scale. Insofar as the eligible supplying Member countries were concerned, there was no limitation provided for in the Declaration and excluding developed countries would limit the sources of medicines that developing countries might need to tackle a specific public health crisis. He recognized the fact that inclusion of developed countries might mean that domestic legislation in such countries might have to be amended. Often such legislation in industrialized countries was more evolved than in developing countries but, he said, a solution under paragraph 6 necessitated such domestic legislative changes.