Sunday, April 19, 2009

Low-cost medicine for developing world lost in red tape

From the Ottawa Citizen:
This week, Senator Yoine Goldstein will rise in the upper chamber and ask his fellow senators to fix Canada’s Access to Medicines Regime.

Passed in 2004, CAMR was hailed as a world-leading initiative that would help millions in developing countries get life-saving medicine to treat HIV, tuberculosis, malaria and other diseases. CAMR was supposed to make it easier for Canadian companies to produce cheap, generic medicine for export.

But five years after CAMR became law, just one shipment of medication has been exported.

The Harper government and brand-name pharmaceutical companies say the law is fine just the way it is, but legal experts and access-to-medicine campaigners say CAMR created a process so laden with red tape and time-wasting regulatory steps that it was doomed from the start. ...more

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