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
- Country reports on the national intellectual property regimes of
selected developing countries.
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
Ad hoc technical advice to requesting countries on intellectual
property laws and public health issues is provided through these
- Training courses on TRIPS flexibilities for local pharmaceutical
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
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.