Developing countries allowed to import generic drugs

An amendment to the agreement on intellectual property entered into force securing for developing countries a legal pathway to access affordable medicines under World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.

The amendment to the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) agreement provides a secure and sustained legal basis for both potential exporters and importers to adopt legislation and establish the means needed to allow countries with limited or no production capacity to import affordable generics from countries where pharmaceuticals are patented.

The TRIPS amendment gives the world’s most vulnerable people access to drugs for diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

[February 2017]