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Revisiting the Trips Regime: Rwanda-Canadian ARV Drug Deal ‘Tests’ the WTO General Council Decision

Revisiting the Trips Regime: Rwanda-Canadian ARV Drug Deal ‘Tests’ the WTO General Council Decision REBECCA AMOLLO∗ On 17 July 2007, the world was awakened to Rwanda’s notification of the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) that it plans to import the HIV-drug TriAvir from Canada’s giant pharmaceuticals company, Apotex. Two months later, Canada issued a compulsory licence allowing Apotex to use nine patented inventions for manufacturing and exporting TriAvir to Rwanda. On 4 October 2007, Canada notified the Council for TRIPS of the compulsory licence. In September 2008, Apotex said it will ship seven million antiretroviral pills to Rwanda to treat 21,000 patients. Against this backdrop, this article uses the Rwandan–Canadian drug deal to examine the utility of the WTO General Council Decision in making ARV drugs more accessible to Low and Middle Income Countries so far. In doing so, the article’s analyses rely on the regime of the Canadian Access to Medicines Regime which was enacted after the WTO Decision. The author discusses some of the issues arising from the deal in light of the effectiveness of the General Council Decision in solving the problem of access to antiretroviral drugs within the right to health and HIV/AIDS context. The article also raises questions relating http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png African Journal of International and Comparative Law Edinburgh University Press

Revisiting the Trips Regime: Rwanda-Canadian ARV Drug Deal ‘Tests’ the WTO General Council Decision

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
© Edinburgh University Press 2009
Subject
Articles; African Studies
ISSN
0954-8890
eISSN
1755-1609
DOI
10.3366/E0954889009000395
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

REBECCA AMOLLO∗ On 17 July 2007, the world was awakened to Rwanda’s notification of the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) that it plans to import the HIV-drug TriAvir from Canada’s giant pharmaceuticals company, Apotex. Two months later, Canada issued a compulsory licence allowing Apotex to use nine patented inventions for manufacturing and exporting TriAvir to Rwanda. On 4 October 2007, Canada notified the Council for TRIPS of the compulsory licence. In September 2008, Apotex said it will ship seven million antiretroviral pills to Rwanda to treat 21,000 patients. Against this backdrop, this article uses the Rwandan–Canadian drug deal to examine the utility of the WTO General Council Decision in making ARV drugs more accessible to Low and Middle Income Countries so far. In doing so, the article’s analyses rely on the regime of the Canadian Access to Medicines Regime which was enacted after the WTO Decision. The author discusses some of the issues arising from the deal in light of the effectiveness of the General Council Decision in solving the problem of access to antiretroviral drugs within the right to health and HIV/AIDS context. The article also raises questions relating

Journal

African Journal of International and Comparative LawEdinburgh University Press

Published: Sep 1, 2009

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