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The TRIPS Agreement, Access to Medicines and the WTO Doha Ministerial Conference
On June 19, 2001, the WTO TRIPS Council held its first meeting on the implications of the TRIPS Agreement for access to medicines and public health. In connection with that meeting, and a follow on meeting of July 25, 2001, WTO Members have made a number of specific observations regarding the terms, structure and spirit of the Agreement.

This report analyzes issues presented by the TRIPS Agreement and its present and prospective impact on access to medicines. A number of these issues have previously been raised and analyzed by this author and other commentators, and the discussions initiated in the TRIPS Council already focus on several of them. Nevertheless, it may be useful to consider in a relatively concise and systematic format the central elements of discussion in connection with the prospective Ministerial Conference in Doha on November 9-13, 2001.

There are two ultimate objectives of this report. The first is to assist Members in formulating recommendations regarding a possible Doha Ministerial Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health, or a near-term formal interpretation of the TRIPS Agreement. The second is to raise issues that might more appropriately be the subject of a longer-term review of the TRIPS Agreement.
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