Mexican Congress Votes Down Bill To Shorten HIV/AIDS Drug Patent Protections
The Mexican Congress on Monday voted 177-172 to reject a bill that would shorten patent protections on AIDS and cancer drugs from the current 20 years to 10 years, the AP/Santa Fe New Mexican reports. Intellectual property rights concerns and worries that the bill sponsor's family would financially benefit from the change motivated opposition to the legislation, according to the AP/New Mexican. The defeated bill was sponsored by the Mexican Environmentalist Green Party. Opponents of the bill said that the Green Party's head, Jorge Gonzalez Torres, had a personal stake in the measure's passage because his uncle is a leading shareholder in the country's largest generic drug store chain, according to the AP/New Mexican. The lower house of Congress did pass a bill that would allow the government to temporarily license generic production of patented drugs to combat "serious diseases that cause a national emergency or threaten national security." Rep. Silvia Alvarez Bruneliere of the National Action Party said that the bill passed in the lower house would both meet social needs and protect patents (Stevenson, AP/Santa Fe New Mexican, 4/29).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.