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Brazil Approves 2005 Amendment to TRIPS Agreement

The Brazilian government has issued a decree approving effective from 22 February the 2005 amendment to the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights. According to information from the WTO, the 2005 amendment to the TRIPS Agreement permanently incorporates additional flexibilities to grant special compulsory licences for the export of pharmaceutical products. Commonly referred to as the “Paragraph 6 System,” this regime was first established by a 2003 decision to facilitate access to medicines under the TRIPS Agreement. The amendment took effect on 23 January 2017 (upon acceptance by two-thirds of the WTO membership) and replaced the 2003 waiver for members who have accepted such amendment.

Members who are yet to accept the amendment currently have until 31 December 2019 to do so. Hong Kong and mainland China ratified the 2005 amendment to the TRIPS Agreement in November 2007. Notably, Brazil was one of the pioneers in pushing for the compulsory licencing of pharmaceutical products for the treatment of HIV/AIDS, which is one of the issues addressed by the 2005 amendment.

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