U.S. Trade Officials Seek to Strengthen Patent Protection for Brand Name Drugs, Including HIV/AIDS Treatments, Wall Street Journal Reports
July 6, 2004
U.S. trade officials are negotiating a series of agreements to strengthen patent protection of brand name drugs, including antiretroviral drugs, the Wall Street Journal reports. In many countries, including the United States, generic drug makers often win approval for their drugs by proving that the products are equivalent to the brand name drug. However, new agreements sought by the United States would prevent countries trading with the United States from approving for five years generic drug applications if data submitted by the generic companies is based on data originally compiled by the brand name manufacturer. The agreements would in effect grant "temporary exclusivity" to brand name drug makers, the Journal reports. U.S. negotiators have reached agreements that include the new provisions with Jordan, Chile and Singapore. Agreements awaiting congressional approval with Australia, Morocco and the six Central American countries -- Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic -- that are part of the Central American Free Trade Agreement also include the provisions. In addition, U.S. negotiators late last month launched trade talks with Thailand seeking similar patent protections, the Journal reports.
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