Pursuant to Article 44 of the Framework Agreement on Access for Examination for Registration of Pharmaceutical Products Between the African Union Commission and Medicines Patent Pool (Georgetown, 27th October 2009);
Pursuant to Article 32 of the Common Regulation of EPO and ACP States, which was adopted by Decision C(2015)107 final;
Pursuant to Council Regulation (EC) No 1257/96of 17 May 1996 concerning common rules for the development of the internal market by approximating the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States regarding medicinal products for human use ;
WHEREAS: The Medicines Patent Pool (the “MPP”) is an organization established pursuant to Article 44 of the Framework Agreement on Access for Examination for Registration of Pharmaceutical Products Between the African Union Commission and Medicines Patent Pool (Georgetown, 27th October 2009) (“Framework Agreement”);
The MPP was created with a view to promote access to AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria medicines by overcoming the barriers posed by patents and other exclusivity rights;
The MPP works in collaboration with governments, United Nations agencies, non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders to increase access to medicine through patent pools aimed at making drugs available at affordable prices. To date several agreements have been signed between the MPP various national ministries responsible for health or intellectual property, or both. The MPP collaborates with national governments in the development of their own patent pools;
The Geopolitical context:
Recent years have seen growing opposition to patents on pharmaceutical products in developing countries, which has stimulated the rise of compulsory licenses issued by local authorities or importation schemes set up by civil society organizations;
Two recent multilateral legal instruments address the aforementioned issues: the Doha Declaration adopted by WTO Members at the WTO Ministerial Conference held in Doha (2001) and later endorsed by UN General Assembly decision 55/63 (amended in 2006);
This Declaration states that WTO “Members are free to determine the grounds on which such licences would be granted”, that they must provide for adequate remuneration to the patent owner, “preferably in the form of royalties”, that they can impose licensing conditions on public authorities or private entities who use these patents and that it is not possible for WTO Members to prohibit the practice of compulsory licensing.
What is GEPCO Online bill 2021?
GEPCO is an internet platform created by the European Union (EU) in 2021 to expedite access to medical treatment. This platform is set up with the help of three institutions, namely; The European Commission (EC), the Council of Europe (CoE), and the European Parliament (EP). The platform consists of a database that lists all essential medical products needed for patients. This list includes data on pharmaceuticals, vaccines, medical devices, diagnostic tools and cosmetic/personal care products. After listing these products they move them into categories which are based on their significance in patient’s lives.
For example if a product is used in surgery procedures it would be classified as essential since patient’s normal state could worsen without this product being used during or after the surgery procedure. Another example would be a patient suffering from cystic fibrosis, without medication that helps her to breathe properly she will have difficulty in breathing and may die because of it. Since this product is crucial for patients’ lives , it is essential .
In 2021 GEPCO Online Bill was officially implemented by Parliament as a bill since healthcare providers must import these products from outside the country or they must use other medications instead of GEPCO products. However, even though some people realized this could cause problems with accessing patients’ health care , there were no preventive measures taken against this issue since there was not enough time to do so before 2021.
How do I sign up for GEPCO Online bill 2021?
It was only a few days before Parliament implemented GEPCO Online bill 2021 when many people realized how harmful it could be. Even though healthcare providers were able to sign up for this service so patients would have access to their medication , there was not enough time for everyone to do so, thus leaving thousands of patients without the medication they need .
Even though signing up for GEPCO Online bill 2021 sounded like an easy task , some healthcare providers simply did not have enough time to get registered before the implementation date of this act. Many other healthcare providers either didn’t know about this new law or thought that since they already had access to necessary medical supplies through another supplier , there was no need for them to sign up.