:: to the teeth ::    thoughts on social justice, medicine, race, hope and beats

"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way.
On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." :: Arundhati Roy ::

"The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any." :: Alice Walker ::
Thursday, September 04, 2003  

WTO agrees to help poorer countries get access to generic drugs

The World Trade Organization will allow poorer countries to import generic drugs to battle ravaging diseases such as tuberculosis and AIDS. The WTO already has policy that allows poor countries with existing pharmaceutical industries to waive patents in times of national health emergencies, using "compulsory licensing". Now, poor nations without their own pharmaceutical industries can bypass the international patent laws covering drug manufacturing and sales (under certain specific circumstances) as well. Some are hailing this move as a step toward bridging the gap in affordable treatments between poorer and more developed nations in the fight against deadly diseases. Others such as Oxfam and Medecins Sans Frontieres see this deal as failing to provide a workable solution. "Today's deal was designed to offer comfort to the US and the Western pharmaceutical industry," said Ellen 't Hoen of MSF. "Unfortunately, it offers little comfort for poor patients. Global patent rules will continue to drive up the price of medicines."

posted by Rahat | 9/04/2003 07:05:00 AM | |


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