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New Thai Health Minister Urged To Continue Compulsory License Policy

This article was originally published in PharmAsia News

Executive Summary

Thailand's new health minister has come under attack from AIDS and cancer patients for his vow to review the compulsory licensing policies of his predecessor. Chaiya Sasomsab said one of his first acts in his new job would be to review the policy as it applies to patents for Novartis' Femara (letrozole) for treating early-stage breast cancer, OSI Pharmaceuticals' Tarceva (erlotinib hydrochloride) for non-small cell lung and pancreatic cancer, and Sanofi Aventis' Taxotere (docetaxel) for treating five types of cancers. Sasomsab called the compulsory licenses forced on those drugs to be "legally incorrect," although he also termed them politically correct. Patient advocates urged him to adhere to his predecessor's decision and continue allowing patients to have access to the life-saving drugs. (Click here for more

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