BRUSSELS—The adoption today by the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) of the European Commission’s proposed manufacturing waiver, limited to exporting, or supplementary protection certificate (SPC), is an important milestone in the process of implementing the resolution on single market strategy approved by the European Parliament in May 2016.

The approval of this amended version constitutes a milestone in the ongoing process of assessing the effectiveness of intellectual property (IP) incentive mechanisms in promoting access and stimulating innovation. Contrary to other views, we believe these decisions demonstrate the potential for constructive discussions to occur regarding the IP protection framework and its impact on access to medicines.

The document approved by JURI today goes beyond both Council and Commission positions in critical aspects, like stockpiling and notifications, but especially on the issue of evaluation
(or “the ability of generics to enter markets in the Union and on access to medicines and public health”) of the entire SPC mechanism. This will allow EU institutions and the public to remain engaged on the impact of IP incentive mechanisms beyond industrial and trade policies, and in connection with public health and access to medicines.

No one expected such a lively debate in Parliament and, as civil society, we commend the critical role played by shadow rapporteurs for the Committees on International Trade (INTA), Environment (ENVI), and JURI.