603. China is pleased to be a co-sponsor of this item. The United Nations Secretary-General's High Level Panel Report on Access to Medicines gives various recommendations to promote innovation of health technology, strengthen access to medicines and secure public health. These recommendations provide valuable reference information for Members when discussing IP and public health related issues in the WTO, as well as the establishment of their national systems.
604. As a global problem, public health is one of the most important elements in the UN 2030 Agenda. The issue of public health has attracted great attention from global leaders. In the "G20 Leaders' Communique Hangzhou Summit", G20 leaders specified the serious threat by antimicrobial resistance (AMR) to public health, growth and global economic stability, and they committed to promote prudent use of antibiotics and take into consideration huge challenges of affordability and access of antimicrobials and their impact on public health. Following the guidelines by G20 leaders, a joint technical symposium was held by WHO, WIPO and WTO on 25 October to discuss how to foster antimicrobial access and how to formulate trade policy in support of such access.
605. WTO Members are entitled to take full use of those flexibilities identified under the TRIPS Agreement and the Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health, in order to promote access to medicines and secure public health. In this regard, China would like to share with Members some of its views and practices.
606. In the context of TRIPS, after the adoption of the Protocol Amending the TRIPS Agreement by the General Council, China launched its domestic approval procedure and ratified it in October 2007. China was the 13th Member to accept the Protocol. We hope that Members who have not ratified the Protocol could complete such acceptance as soon as possible, with a view to achieving our joint efforts, our spirit of collaboration and our commitment to overcome public health problems.
607. In the domestic context, China has been using compulsory licensing, parallel imports and the Bolar exception to promote access to medicines and secure public health. These instruments are fully permissible under TRIPS and the Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health. For example, there is a specific provision of compulsory licensing in China’s Patent Law and implementation regulation. When the Patent Law was amended in 1992, 2000 and 2008 respectively, the provision was further improved according to the Paris Convention, the TRIPS Agreement and the Protocol Amending the TRIPS Agreement. In 2012, China combined the provisions on compulsory licensing and Public health related compulsory licensing together, and issued new detailed rules for the application, review, approval and termination of compulsory licensing, making it operate more smoothly.
608. We note that, due to different domestic IP regimes, WTO Members may have different views and positions on the report. We also take note that, even members of the High-Level Panel did not agree on each part of the report. However, we would like to call upon Members to take this opportunity to exchange views and practices on how to make better use of the flexibilities under the TRIPS Agreement and the Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health, as well as other international or national instruments if available, and on how to better serve our global efforts to secure public health and promote access to medicines.