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Friday, 29 August 2003

GENERIC DRUGS FOR DEVELOPING COUNTRIES A POSSIBILITY?

The New York Times and BBC report that United States, Brazil, India, South Africa and Kenya are close to reaching an agreement allowing poorer countries to import generic versions of medicines that are covered by patent protection, on condition that the drugs do not make their way back into developed countries. It seems though that the US has convinced more developed states to opt out of relying on this agreement. This comes ahead of next month’s meeting of the WTO in Cancun.

The IPKat says: “This is a sensible and humane concession by pharmaceutical companies. It will allow the populations of less developed countries to gain access to essential drugs that we take for granted and the pharmaceutical companies won’t seriously lose out because the drugs will go to people who could not afford to buy legitimate versions of the drugs anyway. However, as Liberal Democrat MP Jenny Tonge points out, this will only be effective if there is an infrastructure within the beneficiary countries for the delivery of those drugs to the people that need them.”

UPDATE: The 146 members of WTO agreed to this proposal on 30 August - WTO press release here.

Where to stay and what to do while you’re in Cancun.
Why not multitask while attending the WTO conference?
Are YOU generic? Find out here.


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