Chugai’s position on Intellectual Property and Access to Health

The Mission set forth in the Mission Statement of the Chugai Group is to “Dedicate ourselves to adding value by creating and delivering innovative products and services for the medical community and human health around the world”.

The Core Values are our most important standards of judgment that will be applied while engaging in activities that support our realization of the Mission and we will operate our business in accordance with them. The Chugai Group will contribute to the realization of a sustainable society by solving social issues through the creation of innovation and efforts toward respect for the environment, human rights, and more.

We believe that robust Intellectual Property (IP) systems stimulate such innovation and solving social issues for the benefit of society as a whole. At the same time, we also believe that it is important to carry out our IP activities in consideration of the public interest. Based on those principles, we established our position on Intellectual Property and Access to Health in the Executive Committee.

1. Our position on patent applications and enforcement of patents in countries with difficulty in Access to Medicine

In some developing countries, Access to Health is difficult due to a variety of factors, including economic reasons and logistics issues. We do not believe intellectual property rights are a limiting factor in accessing to such health care, but we do not file patent applications or enforce patents in the United Nations’ Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and in the World Bank’s Low-Income Countries (LICs) to deliver our innovative pharmaceuticals to much more patients.

2. Our position on the “flexibility” of the TRIPS Agreement in countries with difficulty in Access to Medicine

We fully support the international standards of IP protection outlined in the TRIPS Agreement*.

According to Objectives of the TRIPS Agreement (Article 7), “the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights should contribute to the promotion of technological innovation …, to the mutual advantage of producers and users ...”. This statement is often considered as the legal basis for a flexible interpretation of the TRIPS Agreement (“TRIPS flexibilities”).

The Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement of 2001 also states that “affirms that the TRIPS Agreement can and should be interpreted and implemented in a manner supportive of WTO Members’ right to protect public health ...” and, at the same time, “recognizes the importance of intellectual property protection for the development of new medicines”.

We fully support that LDCs have secured an exemption from the TRIPS Agreement until January 1, 2033. The so-called “§6 solution” of the Doha Declaration (stating that countries with no or insufficient manufacturing capacity can benefit from a compulsory license being implemented in a third country for the import into their home country), we fully support this provided both the specific process for this type of compulsory license and the general conditions for compulsory licenses according to the TRIPS Agreement are respected. Specifically, each case has to be considered on its own merits.

Approved by the Executive Committee on April 20, 2022

  • *TRIPS Agreement: The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights
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