Building local pharmaceutical production / supply capacity

In 2005, UNCTAD was mandated by its Commission on Investment, Technology and Related Financial Issues to engage on work related to the local manufacturing and supply of pharmaceutical products, in the context of Millennium Development Goal 8, Target 17*.

The Commission recommended that:

"UNCTAD should, within its work programme on investment, technology transfer and intellectual property, assess ways in which developing countries can develop their domestic productive capability in the supply of essential drugs in cooperation with pharmaceutical companies."

In the pursuit of this mandate, UNCTAD established in 2006 a pilot programme on local pharmaceutical production and access to medicines with the financial support of Germany and the United Kingdom.


The overall objective of the programme implemented by the DIAE-IP team is to assist developing countries - and least-developed countries (LDCs) in particular - to establish domestic intellectual property regimes that facilitate increased access to affordable medicines and, where feasible, support the creation of local or regional pharmaceutical production and supply capacities, including in cooperation with investors.


  • Stakeholders´ Reference Guide to IP and Related Policies.

    The objective is to provide concise and practical information on ways to promote local pharmaceutical production and improve access to medicines through a variety of policy tools, focusing on the flexibilities provided under TRIPS, and the interfaces between IP, trade and investment, drugs regulation and procurement strategies.

  • Country reports on the national intellectual property regimes of selected developing countries.

    These reports, which have to date been drafted for Ethiopia, Tanzania, and the Secretariat of the East African Community (EAC), contain detailed policy recommendations aimed at facilitating the establishment of local pharmaceutical production and supply capacity.

    Ad hoc technical advice to requesting countries on intellectual property laws and public health issues is provided through these reports.

  • Training courses on TRIPS flexibilities for local pharmaceutical production

    Since 2007, UNCTAD and Capacity Building International, Germany (InWEnt) have been collaborating, under a Memorandum of Understanding, on the organization of training courses on the use of TRIPS Agreement flexibilities for the local production of pharmaceutical products in developing countries.

    Based on an initiative of Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), InWEnt carries out workshops and a distance learning course in different areas of the developing world, based on UNCTAD's research and policy analysis work in the area of pharmaceuticals IPRs.

*  In cooperation with pharmaceutical companies, provide access to affordable essential drugs in developing countries.​


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