The World Health Organization (WHO), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) should collaborate to develop an effective international legal framework to deal with both present and future pandemics.
Aqa Raza, Assistant Lecturer, Jindal Global Law School, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.
Ghayur Alam, Professor, National Law Institute University, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.
This paper argues that the proposal for waiver from the obligation to implement or apply certain provisions of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) is neither a complete solution nor the only solution to deal with the crisis of COVID-19 pandemic mainly because the waiver proposal has congenital fluidity. It is further argued that the solution lies in the effective enforcement of existing provisions of the TRIPS Agreement.
It is also argued that the world needs more and not less patents on pharmaceutical products during the pandemic to help scale up production, improve global supply chain and promote competition to ensure equitable access to such products by all. The paper seeks to highlight congenital fluidity of the waiver proposal and demonstrates how existing provisions of the TRIPS Agreement can be effectively used during pandemics. However, the TRIPS Agreement would have been more efficacious had it expressly provided for pandemics.
In hindsight of the COVID-19 pandemic, future pandemics cannot be ruled out. Time has come which demands that provisions on pandemics should be incorporated in the TRIPS Agreement. However, explicit mentioning of pandemics in the TRIPS Agreement alone cannot be sufficient to deal with pandemics. Therefore, it is further suggested that instead website. of piecemeal and ad hoc arrangements, the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) should collaborate to develop an effective international legal framework to deal with both present and future pandemics.
Published in: The WIPO-WTO Colloquium Papers, 11. pp. 104-117
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