In a move that will boost the pharmaceutical sector, the Cabinet Committee on World Trade Organisation is expected to take up a proposal for amending the compulsory license clause in the Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement.
Once this decision is taken, the Centre will propose to WTO to waive off the obligation under Article 31(f) and Article 31(h) of the TRIPS agreement, so that it can directly export pharma products to countries having insufficient or no manufacturing capacity.
Under the current circumstances, a government has an exceptional provision of allowing a pharma company to produce the patented product or process without the consent of the patent owner in case of a medical emergency.
But if the article is relaxed for India, domestic companies will be able to export the products to other countries in case of national emergencies without the authorisation of the patent holder.
Article 31(h) of TRIPS specifies that the right holder shall be paid adequate remuneration in the circumstances of each case, taking into account the economic value of the authorisation benefit.