The Need to Extend the WTO TRIPS Pharmaceuticals Transition Period for LDCs in the COVID-19 Era: Evidence from Bangladesh

Dhaka, Bangladesh
Dhaka, Bangladesh. Photo by Ahmed Hasan on Unsplash.

By Daniel Gay and Kevin P. Gallagher

CDP Policy Review No. 10. August 27, 2020.

Daniel Gay, an independent consultant working with the United Nations Committee for Development Policy (CDP), and Kevin P. Gallagher, Director of the Global Development Policy Center at Boston University, recently published a policy brief discussing the challenges and risks Bangladesh faces upon graduation from its status as a least developed country (LDC).

Bangladesh is one of the most successful LDCs, leading the United Nations Committee for Development Policy to consider whether it should graduate out of the LDC category altogether in 2021. However, upon graduation, Bangladesh will have to adhere fully to the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules on the pharmaceutical industry, particularly in the intellectual property arena. Forgoing WTO flexibilities on its thriving pharmaceutical industry would be a tough challenge for Bangladesh, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic and its attendant economic and public health impacts.  

Gay and Gallagher argue Bangladesh should maintain its WTO flexibilities in order to ensure its pharmaceutical industry remains a source of economic growth and health provision in the years to come.


Read the Full Policy Brief