The protocol amending the TRIPS Agreement, which was adopted in 2005, is intended to make it easier for poorer WTO members to access affordable medicines. The protocol allows exporting countries to grant compulsory licenses (one that is granted without the patent holder’s consent) to their generic suppliers to manufacture and export medicines to countries that cannot manufacture the needed medicines themselves. These licenses were originally limited to predominantly supplying the domestic market.
The protocol will enter into force once two-thirds of the WTO membership has formally accepted it. The three countries' acceptances mark a major step towards the threshold.
The up-to-date list and map of members that have accepted the Protocol are available here.
More information on the issue of TRIPS and public health is available here.