The pharmaceutical industry in any country is primarily affected by the degree of protection provided to intellectual property rights (IPRs). In a developed market, after a drug is developed and approved, only the company that developed the drug can manufacture it for a specified period of time. Jordan became a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 2000. In order to gain admission to the WTO and obtain trade access benefits, a country must agree to abide by the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), which covers a broad range of intellectual property rights including patents, trademarks and trade secrets. TRIPS establishes the minimum standards of protection in each of these areas; it also makes enforcement provisions and includes a dispute resolution mechanism. Jordan was the first Arab country to implement TRIPS and the Jordanian pharmaceutical industry was affected by the implementation of the agreement. This study contributes to the existing knowledge by providing information and data on the Jordanian pharmaceutical industry and making appropriate policy recommendations. It offers an in-depth understanding of the Jordanian pharmaceutical sector's argument against joining the WTO and of how the industry suffered significantly after doing so in 2000. Jordanian pharmaceutical manufacturers can no longer produce in-patent drugs not registered in Jordan, as they did under the more flexible IPR rules to which they had been subject. The study is the first of its kind to identify the processes through which the new IPR legislation has impacted on the Jordanian pharmaceutical sector, how the new IPR rules and regulations are supposed to motivate many multinationals to invest in Jordan, considering the low setup costs, thus allowing the Jordanian pharmaceutical industry to enter new markets. The study also indentifies the negative impact on the industry of joining the WTO. Its key findings indicate that the industry was not ready for this change and so was hard hit by the new IPR rules. The Jordanian pharmaceutical sector received no foreign direct investment; R&D expenditure and the prices of drugs increased; and exports to the US and European markets decreased, along with production. As for employment, many jobs have already been lost and the future for workers in the Jordanian pharmaceutical industry is uncertain.