Implications of the Doha Declaration on the Trips Agreement and Public Health - Health Economics and Drugs Series No. 012

  • Author: Carlos M. Correa


The Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health, adopted by the WTO Ministerial Conference in November 2001, which affirms that the TRIPS Agreement should be interpreted and implemented so as to protect public health and promote access to medicines for all, marked a watershed in international trade demonstrating that a rules-based trading system should be compatible with public health interests. The Declaration enshrines the principle WHO has publicly advocated and advanced over the last four years, namely the reaffirmation of the right of WTO Members to make full use of the safeguard provisions of the TRIPS Agreement to protect public health and enhance access to medicines. Shortly after the Doha Ministerial, WHO/EDM commissioned Professor Carlos Correa (University of Buenos Aires) to write a paper examining the public health implications of the Doha Declaration. This 56-page technical paper : (1) provides an overview of the Declaration’s antecedents, (2) offers a general treatment of the Declaration’s provisions, (3) provides guidance to WTO Members in finding an expeditious solution by presenting possible options WTO Members may consider in resolving the problem posed in Paragraph 6 of the Declaration, and (4) discusses related issues not covered in the Declaration.

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