In a press release, WTO Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi called the decision a “historic agreement.” Panitchpakdi added: “It proves that the WTO is capable of dealing with both humanitarian and trade issues. This particular issue was particularly difficult. The fact that WTO members have been able to find compromises on such a complex issue is a testament to their goodwill. (5) Leaders of industrialized countries have described this decision as a dramatic development of international intellectual property law. Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary-General, said that “intellectual property protection is the key to introducing new medicines, vaccines and diagnostics that are urgent for the health of the world`s poorest people. The United Nations fully supports the TRIPS agreement, including the safeguards it contains. (13) Paragraph 6, known as the Doha attribution, was clearly the most advanced aspect of the Doha Declaration; it called for a review of one of the main barriers to access to medicines in the TRIPS agreement. Unfortunately, the WTO did not reach an agreement until the end of 2002 (5). The World Trade Organization is the governing body for international trade between its member states. It is the only organization of its kind in the world, so it has a huge influence on international trade policy. Although there are bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements and are authorized by WTO provisions, no other agreement has been as driving for globalization and liberalizing trade barriers as the series of WTO agreements. The WTO allows representatives of member states to unite to form agreements that are essential to the functioning of the WTO and the expansion of world trade.
There are three such agreements: the GATT (general agreement on tariffs and trade), the GATS (general agreement on trade in services) and the TRIPS (commercial aspects of intellectual property rights) agreement (5). Criticism of the WTO has been made because of its perceived complacency in managing a change that would affect the lives of millions of people; But they finally arrived on 30 August 2003 with a consensus on how to improve the system of compulsory licences (12). Under the agreement, all least developed countries2 that are WTO members are exempt from the requirement to produce patented medicines under compulsory licence. In addition, countries that are not covered by the definition of least developed countries may grant a compulsory licence (if the drug is patented on their territory) for the supply of a developing country, where the health situation of that country falls within certain criteria: from these agreements, it is expected that the trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights (TRIPS) will have the greatest impact on the pharmaceutical sector and access to medicines. The TRIPS agreement has been in force since 1995 and is the most comprehensive multilateral IP agreement to date. The TRIPS agreement introduced global minimum standards for the protection and enforcement of almost all forms of intellectual property rights (IPRs), including patent rights. International agreements prior to TRIPS did not contain minimum patent standards. At the time negotiations began, more than 40 countries around the world did not grant patent protection for pharmaceuticals.
The TRIPS agreement now requires all WTO members, with a few exceptions, to adapt their legislation to minimum standards of intellectual property protection.