WIPO SCP paper on TRIPS flexibilities

In a paper prepared for the WIPO Standing Committee on the Law of Patents, law professors Pamela Andanda of South Africa and Andrew Christie from Australia consider constraints faced by developing countries and least developed countries seeking to enact IP rules that advance domestic policy objectives while also being compliant with international treaty obligations. The authors examine administrative and legal challenges, along with challenges related to lack of technical and manufacturing capacity that cannot be solved by setting aside patent rights. Having determined, based on their review, that "no meaningful empirical studies have been published to date that would allow credible conclusions to be drawn about the impact of constraints to the full use of patent flexibilities on access to affordable and especially essential medicines in developing countries and LDCs", the authors call for more work to be done in this area.