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

H.E. Ambassador Dr. Walter Werner
422.   Thanks to South Africa for its communication and for introducing this topic in the agenda. As a means to contributing to this debate, Costa Rica would like to briefly refer to some of its experience in this area. 423.   When dealing with excessive pricing in the context of anti-trust or competition enforcement in the pharmaceutical and medical technology sector, our competition legislation does not contemplate specific provisions to deal with these sectors, but pharmaceutical and medical technology goods fall within the scope of our competition law. If there is proof that lack of competition in a particular sector might have as a consequence high prices, temporary price regulation might be implemented as a remedy to deal with these cases. 424.   The Ministry of Economy and Industry of Costa Rica is currently leading a market study to analyse the impact of possible monopolistic practices on the most sold pharmaceutical products in the country. The results of this study are still pending and will be made publicly available in due time. 425.   Finally, with respect to technical assistance and capacity building needed to deliver more effective policies by WTO Members in the field of competition law, Costa Rica believes that in the specific case of pharmaceutical products, it would be helpful to have technical assistance both from the WTO and entities related to the field of public health such as the WHO and the PHO in a coordinated way, in order to reach an appropriate balance between IPR protection, trade and public health.
The Council took note of the statements made.
37.   The Chair said that the item "Intellectual Property and the Public Interest: Promoting Public Health Through Competition Law and Policy" had been added to the agenda at the request of the of South Africa. A communication, which included questions to guide the discussion, had been submitted (IP/C/W/651).
38.   The representatives of South Africa, Costa Rica, Brazil, Indonesia, China, Switzerland, the United States of America, Japan and the European Union took the floor.
39.   The Council took note of the statements made.
IP/C/M/91, IP/C/M/91/Add.1, IP/C/M/91/Corr.1