Experts Call for an Amendment of Patent Law to Ensure Smooth Transition for Pharma Industry After LDC Graduation

The Bangladesh Patent Law 2022 should be amended in line with the changing scenario for the local pharmaceutical industry after the country’s LDC graduation, experts said at a seminar in the capital today. Simultaneously, they called for close collaboration between the concerned government agencies and the private sector in the amendment process. Such an observation came during a seminar on ‘Preparedness of Pharmaceutical Sector for LDC Graduation’ jointly organised by Support to Sustainable Graduation Project (SSGP) of Economic Relations Division (ERD) and Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD) in the capital today.

Hon’ble Adviser to the Prime Minister on Private Industry and Investment Mr Salman F. Rahman was the chief guest of the seminar. Secretary of the Ministry of Industries Ms Zakia Sultana, Chairperson of BUILD Ms Nihad Kabir and the President of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI), Mr Rizwan Rahman, attended the event as special guests. ERD Secretary Ms Sharifa Khan chaired the seminar.

The burgeoning pharmaceutical sector of Bangladesh has witnessed exponential growth over the last few decades. The TRIPS waiver for least developed countries (LDCs) under the WTO-TRIPS agreement is one of the key drivers of such impressive growth. The industry has strong potential to accelerate its growth and create a bold footprint in the global market. Appropriate measures following an action-oriented roadmap are critical to tapping these opportunities and shielding against the erosion of waivers under the TRIPS agreement in the wake of the LDC graduation of Bangladesh in November 2026. In this context, the seminar was organised to take stock of the initiatives and preparedness that are already underway to address the challenges of the loss of TRIPS waivers.

Hon’ble Adviser to the Prime Minister Mr Salman F. Rahman, in his speech, called for engaging lobbyist firms in the World Trade Organization (WTO) to continue the TRIPS waiver for Bangladesh after graduation. He also emphasised the quick operationalisation of API (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients) parks. He called for immediate closure of the mailbox system, created back in 2008 for submitting patent applications, as the mailbox system has lost its relevance in the present context.

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