The Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement has profoundly affected the interface between intellectual property (IP) and access to health technologies. The Health Action International TRIPS Flexibilities Navigator is designed to be a living, crowd-sourced resource that can help lawmakers, policymakers, researchers, and advocates about to better use the flexibilities in the TRIPS Agreement to improve access to patented (essential) medicines and other health technologies.
This user guide is intended to help anyone wishing to use the features of the Navigator to find what they need and where, and to join the wider discussion and growing community coalescing around the use of TRIPS flexibilities as legitimate policy tools to help fulfil the fundamental human right to the highest attainable level of health.
First and foremost, the Navigator offers a ‘one-stop shop’ for information on TRIPS Flexibilities and compulsory licensing, their current usage, the legal basis for their use in Europe (per country), and practical information on implementation. Given that different groups will have varying needs in terms of what would be needed from the Navigator, we offer a number of pathways to follow, with tailored information for lawmakers, policymakers officials, advocates and researchers.
The Navigator also offers a range of other features to help guide users through the often-complicated world of TRIPS flexibilities. This includes a glossary of terms, frequently asked questions (FAQs), a calendar of events, and other resources and websites with useful information. An important element if we are to mainstream the use of TRIPS flexibilities, including compulsory licensing, as legitimate tools for the achievement of policy goals and fulfillment of international commitments (such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is to build a supportive community of stakeholders. Therefore, the Navigator offers several functions to help grow this community, including a new Online Discussion Forum, in which ideas can be shared and questions asked (and answered).