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""Thailand's Low-Cost Generic Drugs Scheme A Boon For Poor (Thailand)

This article was originally published in PharmAsia News

Executive Summary

Activists have praised Thailand for its recent decision to issue compulsory licenses for life-saving medications. These compulsory licenses temporarily remove patent protections on brand-name drugs. By doing so, Thailand will be able to import and produce less-expensive versions of these medications. Activists say Thailand is setting an example for developing nations who want to ensure quality healthcare for their citizens. Other countries, including Brazil, have already taken steps to institute similar programs. Major pharmaceutical companies have protested the Thai government's move arguing it is a violation of their intellectual property rights. However, experts say Thailand's actions are within the bounds of international law. So far, the country has issued compulsory licenses for the heart medication Plavix as well as AIDS treatments Kaletra and Efavirenz. Already generic versions of these drugs are flowing in from major Indian generics producers. In addition, the Thai government has announced it is also considering suspending patents for four cancer treatments. (Click here for more

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