Canada Taking ‘Intelligent, Creative’ Steps Against ‘Unacceptable Inequity’ in HIV Treatment Access, Opinion Piece Says
Canada's "bold initiative" to alter its patent laws to allow generic drug makers to manufacture and export generic versions of patented antiretroviral drugs is an "intelligent and creative response" to the challenge of addressing an "unacceptable inequity in access to HIV treatment," Carol Bellamy, executive director of UNICEF, writes in an International Herald Tribune opinion piece (Bellamy, International Herald Tribune, 10/9). If the changes are approved, Canada would be the first Group of Seven industrialized country to change its patent laws under a recently reached World Trade Organization agreement in order to help developing countries that need access to medications (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 10/8). Winning the war against AIDS requires "leadership that breaks with the old," Bellamy says, adding, "All of us need to assess what we could do that would significantly alter the entire equation." Approximately 14 million children have already been orphaned as a result of the AIDS epidemic, and any efforts towards prolonging the lives of parents will "make an enormous difference" in the lives of children, Bellamy concludes (International Herald Tribune, 10/9).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.