Bangladesh gets drug patent waiver for 17 years
Published: November 9, 2015 12:51 pm
09 November 2015, Nirapad News: Bangladesh along with all other Least Developed Countries (LDCs) have got an extension for 17 years to comply with the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).
TRIPS, which is the trade agreement with most implications for the production and access to drugs, particularly in developing countries, was due to expire on December 31, 2015.
The deadline, however, has been extended by the World Trade Organization (WTO) council on TRIPS, allowing LDCs to avoid applying and enforcing IP rights on pharmaceutical products until January 1, 2033, commerce minister Tofail Ahmed told a press conference on Sunday, held at his office.
The minister said that the WTO made the decision on Friday, which would benefit country’s pharmaceutical sector by offering a patent-free regime for years.
Without extension of the deadline for complying with TRIPS, local pharmaceutical manufacturers would have to cease production, distribution and sales of medicines that should come under the intellectual property rights agreement for protection as elsewhere in the world.
“Under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina we have worked together to have the waiver on intellectual property (IP) rights for pharmaceutical products”, the minister said, hoping that the country would be able to become a standard pharmaceutical manufacturer country during the period.
He said Bangladesh would get more benefit from the extension as the country is more capable of manufacturing pharmaceutical products than any other LDCs.
Tofail said about 250 drug manufacturing companies of the country are meeting 97.0 percent domestic demand while over 30 pharmaceutical companies are exporting medicine to 107 countries, including Germany, USA, French, Italy, UK and Canada.
Managing Director of Beximco Pharmaceuticals Limited Nazmul Hassan Papon said the extension would help local pharmaceutical industries build a good position on the international market, with setting a high standard.
Senior Secretary of commerce ministry Hedayetullah Al Mamoon also spoke on the occasion.