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
276. The representative of Cuba said that her delegation was not in a position to accept the Protocol Amending the TRIPS Agreement until the operation of the System had proven to be fully effective. Moreover, regulatory aspects, including a quality examination regarding safety and efficacy, did not form part of the System. Other aspects had to be clarified which had a bearing on the lengthy period needed to manufacture and export pharmaceutical products under the System. The preparation and approval by the relevant government authorities of the legal instrument that was required to apply the System at national level entailed a complex process. There was therefore no justification for undertaking such a process until it had been demonstrated that the System complied with the objectives of paragraph 6 of the Doha Declaration. Some Members considered this system to be an historic milestone which it undoubtedly was. The mandatory patent protection of pharmaceutical products had made it necessary to find a solution to ensure that profit-making interests of patent holders were not maximized to the detriment of the right to life and health. Nevertheless, the System was still far from proving its practical effectiveness. Certain clarifications made in this discussion should have already been addressed by the Decision establishing the System. She said that the System had also been distorted bilaterally by developed countries through free trade agreements.