On the 27th of October WTO members will discuss the ‘health waiver’ of Paragraph 6 in the Doha Declaration which allows countries to issue a compulsory license for export, enabling access to medicines in countries without sufficient manufacturing capacity.

So far this mechanism has only been used once, and has proven to be very problematic and by some deemed as unworkable.

After much resistance by some developed countries to adress the issue, now an entire day will be devoted during the TRIPS Council to reviewing this mechanism. Why has it not been used more often? And can the mechanism be improved? , are questions that deserve to be posed and need to be answered as the problem of access to medicines has most definitely not been solved.

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