Intellectual Property and Access to Medicines

19 Apr, 2019

On April 16-19, Open Society Georgia Foundation (OSGF) hosted a national technical meeting on trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights.

Georgia acceded to the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) in 2000.

Since the TRIPS regulations were worsening the access to medicines crisis, in 2001, World Trade Organization (WTO) members drew up the Doha Declaration on TRIPS Agreement and public healthcare, thus laying the foundation for TRIPS flexibilities to facilitate access to essential medicines bypassing patent rights.

The meeting in Georgia aimed to raise awareness about TRIPS flexibilities and to gain support in the process of advocacy and policy dialogue.

Representatives of various communities, the Public Defender’s Office, relevant ministries and National Center for Disease Control and Public Health, as well as intellectual property experts attended the meeting.

The participants discussed a broad range of issues, among them practice in relation to access to medicines: global and Ukrainian experience, access to essential medicines, impact of generic and brand name drugs on prices and access, legislation regulating intellectual property and barriers, TRIPS flexibilities, importance of civic activism and community engagement, etc.