Kenyan President Approves Bill Allowing Importation of Generic AIDS Drugs
Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi has given his approval to the Industrial Property Act, which allows the country to import generic versions of patented antiretroviral drugs, the Kenyan Daily Nation reports (Otieno, Kenyan Daily Nation, 9/11). The Kenyan Parliament last year passed the IPA, which aims to ease the importation of generic drugs. However, on June 7, five weeks after the IPA went into effect, the law was amended to state that the approval of the patent holder is required before the importation can proceed. AIDS activists said that such a provision would it "virtually impossible" to import generic antiretroviral drugs (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 8/14). Kenyan Attorney General Amos Wako said that the section of the bill requiring permission from patent holders has "been ignored," adding, "The bill has been assented to and licensed manufacturers can now import cheaper drugs." Wako said that a draft of the new bill will be presented to the Cabinet and debated in Parliament before the end of the year. Wako last year set up a task force to make recommendations on HIV/AIDS policies in Kenya. The task force's report called for the review of a law to protect AIDS orphans and the passage of legislation to protect HIV-positive people who participate in research trials. The report also criticized insurance companies that require an HIV test prior to granting coverage (Kenyan Daily Nation, 9/11).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.