matters and the Central Food and Drug Supervisory Committee to supervise drugmanufacturing and importation. The highest Authority is the Myanmar Food and DrugBoard of Authority which was formed to enable the public to buy high-quality, safe andeffective drugs, to register drugs systematically, to enable the public to purchase high-quality, safe food, to control and systematically regulate manufacture, import, export,storage, contribution and sale of food and drugs. Importers of medicines need separatedrug importation licenses from the Ministry of Health. Licensing requirements andprocedures for medical suppliers may need to be streamlined to allow for moresuppliers to compete. Requirements for suppliers are that imported medicines shouldfirst be registered. However, these laws do not include patenting in the field of pharmaceutical process and products.Therefore, it is currently not possible to apply for patent and design registration inMyanmar. Drafting the new legislation for patents and industrial designs to come intoline with the TRIPS Agreement has been carried out by the Attorney General’s Officein cooperation with Ministry of Science and Technology. However, patent protection inthe pharmaceutical area may not be possible,-at least-until the year 2016. WithinMyanmar there are no restrictions on the use of pharmaceutical technology because of the total absence of pharmaceutical patent protection.Besides the Patent and Design Law, which is not enforced, Myanmar has a legislativeframework for science and technological development and technology transfer based onindustrial development policy. New IPR legislation will have to be drafted in line withthis framework.
The Science and Technology Development Law
In 1994, a new law entitled The Science and Technology Development Law wasenacted to cope with the changing situation and development of the market economyand to enhance its further development. The Law provides that each contract fortechnology transfer must be registered; failing which there will be no provision forinstituting a suit based on it. The objectives of the Law are prescribed in Section 3,which states as follows:i.
to develop science and technology and promote industrial production so as tocontribute to the National Economic Development Plan;ii.
to carry out research and development for the increased extraction andutilization of domestic raw materials and the promotion of industrial productionbased on modern science and technology;iii.
to effect technology transfer for the promotion of production processes and theimprovement of the quality of goods;iv.
to train the experts required for the development of science and technology andfor research and development and to improve existing qualifications;