A 2003 agreement eased the requirements of the domestic market and allows developing countries to export to other countries where there is a national health problem as long as the exported medicines are not part of a trade or industrial policy.  Drugs exported under such a regime may be packaged or coloured differently to prevent them from harming the markets of industrialized countries. The obligations under Articles 3 and 4 shall not apply to procedures under multilateral agreements concluded under the auspices of WIPO concerning the acquisition or maintenance of intellectual property rights. (d) arising from international agreements for the protection of intellectual property which entered into force before the entry into force of the WTO Agreement, provided that such agreements are notified to the Ad Hoc Council and do not constitute arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination against nationals of other Members. Unlike other intellectual property agreements, TRIPS has an effective enforcement mechanism. States can be disciplined by the WTO dispute settlement mechanism. The TRIPS Agreement is an agreement on minimum standards that allows members to guarantee, if they so wish, broader protection of intellectual property. Members are free to determine the appropriate method for implementing the provisions of the Agreement in their own legal and practical order. Since the entry into force of TRIPS, it has been the subject of criticism from developing countries, scientists and non-governmental organizations. While some of this criticism is directed at the WTO in general, many proponents of trade liberalization also see TRIPS as bad policy.
The wealth concentration effects of TRIPS (the movement of money from people in developing countries to copyright and patent holders in developed countries) and the imposition of artificial shortages on citizens of countries that would otherwise have weaker intellectual property laws are common bases for such criticism. Other criticisms focused on TRIPS` failure to accelerate the flow of investment and technology to low-income countries, an advantage advanced by WTO members before the agreement was created. World Bank statements indicate that TRIPS has not been able to tangibly accelerate investment in low-income countries, although this has been done for middle-income countries.  The long periods of validity of patents under TRIPS have been examined to indicate that they excessively slow down market entry for generic drug substitutes and competition in the market. In particular, the illegality of preclinical studies or the filing of samples for approval until a patent expires has been held responsible for the growth of a few multinationals and not producers in developing countries. Articles 3, 4 and 5 set out the principles governing national treatment and the most preferential treatment of aliens common to all categories of intellectual property covered by the Agreement. These obligations include not only substantive standards of protection, but also issues relating to the availability, acquisition, extent, maintenance and enforcement of intellectual property rights, as well as issues relating to the use of intellectual property rights specifically addressed in the agreement. While the national treatment clause prohibits discrimination between nationals of one Member and nationals of other Members, the most-favoured-nation clause prohibits discrimination between nationals of other Members. . . .