Cuba Producing Generic AIDS Drugs, Castro Says
Cuban President Fidel Castro Saturday "assailed" the United States and its pharmaceutical companies for their efforts to protect the patent rights of certain AIDS drugs, Reuters reports. In his "first direct challenge" to President Bush, Castro said that Cuba is producing its own generic versions of patented U.S. drugs. "Our country is producing the famous cocktail," Castro said, although he did not specify which AIDS drugs the country was producing. Castro also expressed " strong support" for South Africa and Brazil for their efforts to import and produce generic AIDS medicines. Reuters reports that Castro's announcement may have come as a "response to what Cuba views as similar U.S. infringements" on Cuban patent rights for certain items, such as rum (Reuters, 3/19).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.