Canada: Senator Proposes Bill to Rush Canadian Drugs Overseas
April 7, 2009
A senator recently proposed amending the Patent Act to make it easier to provide low-cost drugs to poorer developing nations under Canada's Access to Medicines Regime (CAMR). In 2004, the act was amended to encourage the export of generic drugs against HIV, TB and malaria. Since then, only the generic-drugs firm Apotex has used the provision, producing the AIDS drug Triavir for Rwanda last fall. At the time, Apotex said it would not use the measure again, calling it burdensome and costly.
"I don't know whether we did the developing world a favor or a disservice by getting that first shipment of Triavir out," said Bruce Clark, vice president of regulatory affairs for Apotex. "It seems to have appeased the conscience of the legislators and of the brand industry, and let them think we don't need to do anything else."
"It was sheer effort on our part to get that first shipment out," Clark said. "The brands say it's fair, fast, and functional, but by whose definition? Would the patients in Africa say it's functional?"
The bill could get a second reading in the Senate in early May.
04.02.2009; Louisa Taylor
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This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.