The United States is prohibited from retaliatory action over Thailand's decision to ignore patents on some expensive American-made drugs, a senior Commerce Ministry official said yesterday.
World Trade Organisation rules protect Thailand from US trade action over the move, the official said.
The government invoked compulsory licensing on some expensive HIV/Aids and heart-disease drugs using WTO rules, the source explained.
The official, who asked not to be named, said the government could lodge a WTO complaint if it determined the US had downgraded Thailand's intellectual-property-rights rating over the drug issue.
Thailand is now on the US priority watch list, a level lower than in previous years, meaning Thailand will be closely monitored for intellectual-property-rights violations.
The downgrade comes with associated cuts in tariff privileges on exports awarded under the Generalised System of Preferences.
Many believe the downgrade was a response to the compulsory licensing.
The source said the government had followed WTO rules and the US was forbidden to take tit-for-tat action.
aww dosent it make you feel sad for the big pharm companies?
good for thialand!why does the us care about this?MONEY MONEY MONEY MONEY,our government is run by the componys that are loosing money on this and thats the ONLY reason they care.