TRIPS-Plus and US FTAs: Recommendations to Jordan, Bahrain and Sudan to Increase Accessibility to Medicines

Barqawi, Laila orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-0435-2591 (2020) TRIPS-Plus and US FTAs: Recommendations to Jordan, Bahrain and Sudan to Increase Accessibility to Medicines. Doctoral thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

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This thesis aims to contribute in shaping the future of access to medicines. The present research adds to the body of existing academic literature while addressing existing knowledge gaps. In doing so, it will identify the extent to which Jordan and Bahrain have been disadvantaged by Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)-plus policies, as well as their own national policies. This thesis aims to improve access to medicines in Jordan and Bahrain by encouraging these countries to utilise the available, but limited, policy space through implementing workable solutions. Accordingly, this thesis will also be of interest to other developing countries and least developed countries (LDCs), such as Sudan, that wish to accede to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and TRIPS, as well as sign free trade agreements (FTAs).
More specifically, this thesis explores the roots of TRIPS and discusses the ways in which the influences of the US, the EU and pharmaceutical companies are evident in the drafting of TRIPS. Moreover, this thesis shows that TRIPS’s flexibilities are limited by FTAs and that the existence of the Doha Declaration and FTAs are clear evidence that the interests of developing and LDCs, with regards with access to medicines, are being disregarded.
This thesis further investigates the extent to which TRIPS-plus agreements have disadvantaged Jordan’s access to medicines. As this will be a comparative study between Jordan and Bahrain, the present research will compare and contrast the experiences of these two countries. Moreover, this thesis argues that there is existing policy space that could be realistically utilised by the Jordanian and Bahraini governments. It also goes on to make recommendations that could be incorporated within Jordan’s and Bahrain’s national laws in order to increase their access to medicine.
In addition, this thesis suggests steps that the Sudanese government could implement before acceding to the WTO and TRIPS. Based on the experiences of Jordan, Bahrain, and other least developed countries that have acceded to WTO and
increased their policy space, these suggestions will increase access to medicine in Sudan.

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