Friday, December 04, 2009

Bill to help sale of HIV drugs gains support

From CBC News:
A federal private member's bill aims to cut through the red tape hampering generic drug companies from shipping cheap HIV/AIDS drugs to developing countries.

On Wednesday, MPs will review New Democrat MP Judy Wasylycia-Leis's bill, designed to reform Canada's access to medicines law.

When Canada passed its access to medicines legislation five years ago with support from all parties, it was lauded as a world leader.

The intent of the access to medicines regime was to allow generic drug manufacturers to compete to supply less-expensive drugs to developing countries for diseases such as AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.

Under the current legislation, generic drug makers must obtain a special licence each time they want to sell a drug to a country over a certain time, and pay royalties to the patent-holding drug companies on any such sales.

But the current law is not working, Wasylycia-Leis said. Since it was passed, the process has proved so complicated that only one order of HIV drugs was ever made and sold. It reached Rwanda last year. ...more

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