The world’s poorest countries will not have to protect pharmaceutical patents and clinical trial data until at least 2033, under a decision by a World Trade Organization panel in early November. The action extends an existing exemption, which was set to expire on Jan. 1, 2016, that these nations have regarding WTO intellectual property protections for drugs. The decision applies to least-developed countries, or LDCs, which include nations in Africa, Asia, and the South Pacific with per capita annual income of less than $1,035. Shameem Ahsan, a diplomat from Bangladesh who coordinates efforts by LDCs within WTO, says the decision “will assure the LDCs the necessary legal certainty to procure or to produce generic medicines for those who need it most but do not have any access.” Meanwhile, WTO is soon expected to extend a waiver, which is due to expire soon, that exempts LDCs from having to provide exclusive marketing rights for new drugs. That exemption would also extend to 2033.