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Implementation of TRIPS Agreement and DR-CAFTA in the National Legislation of Six Countries: Consequences for Access to Medicines. Reducing harm caused by monopoly rights or increasing it?. The cases of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic

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Reducing harm caused by monopoly rights or increasing it

Implementation of TRIPS Agreement and DR-CAFTA in the National Legislation of Six Countries: Consequences for Access to Medicines

Reducing harm caused bymonopoly rights or increasing it?

The cases of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic

and Costa Rica (in process)


Reducing harm caused by monopoly rights or increasing it

Main Finding:Not making use of opportunities for interpretationOn the contrary, these national laws contain excessive restrictions for access policy as:

  • Unnecessary limitations for applying the safeguards established in the TRIPS Agreement and affirmed in the Doha Declaration, especially for issuing compulsory licences – the only remaining means to restore competition

  • Lack of any solutions to by-pass the CAFTA provision that obliges to reject the market approval of generics relying on previously submitted test data when that product is on patent – e.g. an option could be to determine that a compulsory licence involves the suspension of this exclusivity


Reducing harm caused by monopoly rights or increasing it

Main Conclusion:Civil Society and Social Movements need to look carefully at these laws and advocate for changes in wording and implementation

  • Using all possibilities for positive interpretation of international/regional trade agreements in order to give priority to the right to health over profit

  • Urging to establish a competent decision body for determining the appropriate measures in order to protect access to medicines against exclusive rights

  • Building international alliances which are capable to promote evaluations and modifications of the harmful provisions of TRIPS Agreement & DR-CAFTA

  • Should we formulate a complementary MDG:“to halt and begin to reverse the spread of monopoly rights on vital knowledge”