GENEVA, 21 May 2015—The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) would like to call attention to the urgent and compelling case for the international community to take all measures possible to protect the health of people living in least-developed countries (LDCs).The proposal was put forward by Bangladesh on behalf of the LDCs group and is now before the WTO TRIPS Council. It requests an extension of the period under which LDCs are exempt from applying protections for pharmaceutical related patents and clinical data. The current waiver is due to expire in January 2016.
“Millions of people rely on access to affordable, assured quality generic medicines,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “WTO Members have before them a critical opportunity to help least-developed countries to reach health and sustainable development goals—failure to support them could put millions of lives at risk.”