Saturday, October 06, 2007

Exporting Generic AIDS Drugs to Rwanda

Click HERE to read my previous post on this topic, written approximately one year ago.

Now, CTV News has reported that Canada is going to be the first country to export generic anti-retroviral drugs to a developing country: Rwanda. Apotex is the name of the company that manufactures the drug, and its name is called Apo TriAvir. Canada is able to do this for the following reasons:

1) Rwanda is unable to manufacture this drug on their own.
2) Rwanda has invoked the "compulsory license" which allows it to import a generic version of a drug, after negotiations have been made with the pharmaceutical company that holds the patent for that drug. This means that some compensation must be paid to the pharmaceutical company.

What's the Catch?

I dunno. The news article doesn't say, but I do wonder how much money Rwanda had to pay to the pharmceutical companies that hold the patent in order to import generic drugs from Canada?

And, when AIDS patients become resistant to the current TriAvir drugs, how will they get to import the next drug? Will this whole process have to be repeated again? How much harder will it be when that time comes to invoke the compulsory license? What road blocks will pharmaceuticals have created by then to further prevent these things from happening?

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