Sunday, May 11, 2008

Canadian AIDS meds may soon head to Rwanda

From CBC News:
Four years after it was passed unanimously by Parliament, a bill drafted to allow low-cost Canadian-made AIDS drugs to be exported to developing countries may finally be on the verge of producing results.

Generic drug maker Apotex Inc. announced Wednesday that it has been awarded a contract by the government of Rwanda to sell its three-in-one AIDS pill Apo Triavir to the African country. Securing that contract was the final legal hurdle that Apotex had to manoeuvre in the onerous process of making Canada's Access to Medicines Regime work.

"We're almost there," Elie Betito, the company's director of public and government affairs, said in an interview.

"By October sometime we're hoping that the product will be on a plane on delivery to Rwanda."

He noted, though, that nothing will be final until that actually happens. The companies that hold the patents on the drugs in the Apotex combined medication can still withdraw permission for the sale to take place "even on the day we are shipping." ...more

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