Wto Pharmaceuticals Agreement

- October 17, 2021

The pharmaceutical agreement is one of many sectoral initiatives agreed in the Uruguay Round. Several parties to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) have agreed to abolish and/or reduce tariffs on certain sectors (TN/MA/S/13). Unlike multilateral agreements, these sectoral agreements, as they are called, have been signed and apply to groups of participants and not to all WTO Members. Participants committed to implement the results on the basis of most-favoured-nation treatment. 17.The prolonged delay in the listing of new pharmaceutical products and ingredients on the World Trade Organization list is already affecting global access to medicines and does not benefit industry or countries. It is more up to the World Trade Organisation negotiations than the Brexit negotiations to solve this problem; However, the relapse into WTO rules could lead to harmful tariffs on new and innovative medicines and components traded between the UK and the EU. As a world leader in the pharmaceutical industry, the government should work internationally to ensure that the WTO updates the list of drugs and components covered by the Agreement on the Elimination of Tariffs on Medicines. Free trade agreements often contain provisions for preferential treatment between the signatories of the agreement. This may include the reduction or elimination of import duties, which leads to more favourable market access than that granted by multilateral commitments (WTO). This section of the study deals only with tariffs that are imposed in the absence of such preferential agreements, i.e. on a most-favoured-nation basis.

The difference can be very significant for NTPs and developing countries: for example, syringes can be imported duty-free from a country with preferential market access, but they can be subject to a 16% tariff if imported from other WTO Members. As a result, the procurement of health-related products is focused on free trade agreement partners. A comparison of preferential tariff rates with those applied without preferences shows that preferential tariffs for Brazil, China, Mexico, India, South Africa and Turkey for the three product groups (A, B and C) decreased between 2005 and 2009 and were below the WTO most-favoured-nation rate (by at least 0.4%). As a result, the gap between preferential and most-favoured-nation treatment has widened, with the lowest tariffs for medicines (A) and the highest tariffs for medical devices (C). The purpose of this note is to describe the provisions of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement) relating to the standards of patent protection to be granted to inventions in the field of medicines. .

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