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

H.E. Ambassador Xolelwa Mlumbi-Peter
World Trade Organization

256.   Also on behalf of my colleagues from WHO and WIPO, I am pleased to share some excellent news with you: on 29 July, the second edition of the Trilateral Study on Access to Medical Technologies and Innovation has been presented to the public in a virtual launch event. Together with video messages by the three Directors-General, the publication is now available on each organization's webpage. 257.   Encouraged by the strong and positive feedback that the study has received since its initial launch in 2013, we trust that the second edition will make its contribution to an informed policy debate about what is needed to foster innovation that is responsive to pressing needs and to secure equitable access to essential medical technologies. Its aim is to build capacities in Governments to deal with those and other challenging questions. 258.   For this purpose, the revised study addresses all the key determinants for innovation and access to vital medical technologies, from research to development to manufacturing and delivery to those in need. And it maps out the close and complex linkages between health, intellectual property and trade. 259.   To do so, this new publication draws practical lessons from experience, including from our joint technical assistance activities, with the interaction of those distinct policy dimensions. It sets them within the broader perspective of the human rights dimension and the Sustainable Development Goals. 260.   What is new in the revised edition? We have seen numerous significant developments since 2013 that are covered by the new publication. To give you a few examples: efforts have stepped up to achieve universal health coverage. The fast-evolving pattern of the disease burden and emerging global threats to public health pose new challenges, as demonstrated by the current pandemic. Antimicrobial resistance pushes us to adapt existing innovation models. And we have also addressed the emergence of new health technologies, an increasingly diverse medical technologies sector, and strengthening innovative and production capacity in developing countries. 261.   The second edition offers an improved empirical foundation for informed priority setting, resource allocation and policy decisions, through the integration of more comprehensive and accessible data on prices, access, patents and trade. This said, the Study is descriptive, aiming to build a firm empirical foundation for policymaking, rather than endorsing or advocating any particular approach. 262.   What has the WTO in particular contributed to this revised edition? Among many other things, contributions include a detailed analysis of trade in health technologies, based on a completely revised methodology to measure trends in trade in health products; second, a detailed analysis of provisions in FTAs which bear on innovation and access in the pharmaceutical sector; and finally a comprehensive review of the role of competition law and policy for the public health sector. 263.   I should mention that the main text of the Study was completed before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. To take due account of the unprecedented challenges, we have opted to add a section providing a factual overview of the developments and measures taken to address this extraordinary public health crisis. As many of the issues that have arisen during the pandemic are not new, the purpose of this section is to guide the reader to those parts of the Study that provide essential background on those issues. This ensures its practical relevance to today's most urgent needs. So, while the section on COVID-19 may appear to be thin, the fact is that responses to the pandemic span such a wide range of technical areas that nearly every section of the Study is of relevance to the global response to COVID-19. 264.   The pandemic has brought into sharp relief the fundamental need to co-operate internationally and to bring together diverse areas of expertise to effectively address global health challenges. 265.   I would therefore like to use this opportunity to address our special thanks to colleagues and friends from WHO and WIPO, as well as the many colleagues from the WTO and other key stakeholders for their excellent collaboration and the significant contributions they have made to this publication. 266.   Let me conclude with a brief quote from the DGs' foreword: "Global collaborative efforts are required now more than ever before" - it is in this spirit that we have launched the Trilateral Study.

46.   The Council took note of the statements made.
38.   The Chair said that the Council had regularly conducted annual reviews of technical cooperation and capacity building activities at its end of the year meeting. These reviews were based on reports submitted by developed country Members, international organizations and the WTO Secretariat. She invited the Secretariat to recall the usual arrangements for such reviews.
39.   The representative of the Secretariat took the floor.
40.   The representatives of Bangladesh and South Africa took the floor. The representative of Nigeria requested that her statement be included in the record of the meeting.
41.   The Chair proposed to proceed with the customary arrangements and conduct the next review during the next Council meeting, scheduled to take place in October 2020. The documentation provided on this topic was usually quite extensive. In order to ensure a streamlined and systematic approach to the management of this documentation, she recommended the use of the e-TRIPS Submissions System, which allowed the convenient preparation of such submissions, both in capital and at the missions in Geneva. The Secretariat would be pleased to provide informal support and background to interested delegations.
42.   The Council agreed to proceed with the usual arrangements and undertake the next review on technical assistance and capacity building at the October 2020 meeting.
43.   The Chair invited the Secretariat to announce the new edition of the Trilateral Study on Access to Medical Technologies and Innovation.
44.   The representative of the Secretariat took the floor.
45.   The representatives of Chile; Zimbabwe; Tanzania, on behalf of the LDC Group; the World Health Organization (WHO); and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) took the floor.
46.   The Council took note of the statements made.
IP/C/M/95, IP/C/M/95/Add.1