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

Mr. Martin Glass (Hong Kong, China)
F.5 Any alternatives to the use of the Paragraph 6 System to achieve the objective of access to medicines, procurement policies, and other related aspects affecting access to medicines
255. The representative of Japan believed that the objective of the System, which was to facilitate access to medicines by Members with insufficient or no manufacturing capacity in the pharmaceutical sector had to be kept in mind. The System should not be considered in an isolated manner but as part of a broader effort to contribute to access to medicines. At the trilateral Symposium on "Access to Medicines: Pricing and Procurement Practices", organized by the WHO, WIPO and WTO, it had been noted that elements other than intellectual property rights were important to access medicines, such as procurement and tariffs. It had also been noted that only five per cent of medicines included in the WHO list of essential medicines were protected by patent. 256. He informed Members of Japan's efforts to contribute to access to medicines. In September 2010, Mr. Kan, the Prime Minister of Japan, had announced the "Kan commitment" to contribute USD 800 million in the coming years to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria which Japan had co-founded. In order to accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals by halting the spread of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, Japan would scale up effective interventions through the Global Fund. To do so, it would promote an integrated approach, combining the Global Fund efforts with strengthening health systems and maternal, newborn and child survival programmes, utilizing Japan's bilateral assistance. Although the number of people receiving life-saving antiretroviral therapy against HIV/AIDS had increased from 0.4 million in 2003 to 5.2 million in 2009, he recognized that there was an urgent need for expanded efforts to address the issue. His delegation had contributed USD 1.04 billion to the Global Fund. Furthermore, as part of the Global Plan "Stop TB 2006-2015", Japan had provided anti-tuberculosis drugs and testing tools to tuberculosis-affected countries, designated by the WHO as high burden countries. Japan had also contributed to combating other infectious diseases, such as influenza and polio. It had also provided an emergency grant aid of approximately JPY 1.1 billion through the WHO in September 2009 to carry out immunizations in developing countries with the H1N1 influenza vaccine. In addition, in order to prepare for a pandemic influenza, Japan was stockpiling and providing antiviral medicines in cooperation with ASEAN and the ASEM. It supported the provision of polio vaccines through UNICEF to some countries that had been designated as countries of prevalence. The importance of local production in developing countries was also recognized. Japan had cooperated with the Government Pharmaceutical Organization of Thailand to locally produce influenza vaccine. He reiterated the importance of access to medicines, and the importance of keeping the bigger picture in mind when discussing this issue.