Advertisement
The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
  
  • Email Email
  • Printable Single-Page Print-Friendly
  • Glossary Glossary

International News

Health Activists, AIDS Sufferers in Thailand File Suit to Dislodge Bristol-Myers Patent on HIV Drug

October 10, 2002

A note from TheBody.com: Since this article was written, the HIV pandemic has changed, as has our understanding of HIV/AIDS and its treatment. As a result, parts of this article may be outdated. Please keep this in mind, and be sure to visit other parts of our site for more recent information!

In an effort to gain cheaper HIV/AIDS treatment for Thailand's estimated 1 million people living with the disease, patients and consumer activists on Wednesday filed a lawsuit to invalidate a drug patent held in Thailand by U.S. pharmaceutical giant Bristol-Myers Squibb.

In legal action presented to the Central Intellectual Property Court, three people living with AIDS and the local Foundation for Consumers claimed the patent on the drug Videx EC should be deregistered. If the patent is withdrawn, other companies could produce generic versions of the drug more cheaply. The plaintiffs argue that Videx is not the company's innovation, but merely a combination of an antacid and the active ingredient didanosine or ddI -- for which the company holds no patent. Bristol-Myers developed Videx after licensing ddI from the US National Institutes of Health. It claims Videx can be patented because it increases the drug's effectiveness by including a buffering agent.

Kamol Uppakaew, a plaintiff in the latest case and a leader of the Network for People Living with HIV/AIDS, said it was well known that antacids should be taken with ddI in order to reduce stomach acidity and help the body absorb the drug. A Bristol-Myers spokesperson in the United States said last week that the company was committed to providing affordable AIDS drugs in the developing world.

Last week health activists won a minor legal victory when the Central Intellectual Property Court ruled invalid part of the patent on Videx. The court's ruling that Bristol-Myers' patent covers only pills containing between 5 and 100 milligrams of ddI paved the way for other drug makers to market pills with dosages above 100 milligrams.

Back to other CDC news for October 10, 2002

Previous Updates

Adapted from:
Associated Press
10.09.02; Uamdao Noikorn

A note from TheBody.com: Since this article was written, the HIV pandemic has changed, as has our understanding of HIV/AIDS and its treatment. As a result, parts of this article may be outdated. Please keep this in mind, and be sure to visit other parts of our site for more recent information!



  
  • Email Email
  • Printable Single-Page Print-Friendly
  • Glossary Glossary

This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 
See Also
More on Generic/Discount HIV Drug Access in the Developing World

Tools
 

Advertisement