The aim of the paper is to analyze the mechanism of compulsory licensing of medicines in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic . The methodological basis of the study encompasses the general and special methods of scientific inquiry (formal logical method, comparative law, structural-logical method, analysis and synthesis methods). The ways and possibilities of balancing the interests of rights-holders and society's interests (in particular patients' interests) have been studied . It is highlighted that compulsory licensing must be employed exclusively in view of the principle of proportionality, since any restrictions on human rights, including patent rights, must comply with the legislation in force and be proportionate to the potential threat . Comprehensive attention is paid to the interests of right holders (in our case, medicines manufacturers), their protection as well as the ways they abuse their patent rights . It is underlined that access to medicines and treatment is a prerequisite for the realization of the right to health and, consequently, is of social interest . However, in Ukraine today we face a situation in which the percentage of medicines purchased at patients' own expense is 88.2% . Such low medicines coverage on the part of the state is not characteristic of any European country . Compulsory licensing legislation, in particular, key international documents in this field, were thoroughly studied . The features of compulsory licensing have been formulated . The general trends regarding the use of this mechanism in the contemporary world have been determined . Based on the study, an evaluation of the effectiveness of compulsory licensing as a tool in the fight against abuse of patent rights is provided . There have been produced suggestions regarding amendments to the current legislation of Ukraine aiming to increase the effectiveness of compulsory licensing of medicines in general and under pandemic conditions in particular . First of all, it is an expansion of the sphere of compulsory licensing with respect to such intellectual property objects as industrial samples and trade secrets (know-hows). It is also suggested that the procedure for issuing compulsory licenses be expedited by the government's decision under pandemic or epidemic conditions.
MeSH: COVID-19, Drug Industry, Europe, Humans, Licensure, Pandemics, SARS-CoV-2, Ukraine