Canadian HIV/AIDS Policy & Law Review Examines Canada’s Drug Patent Legislation
The most recent issue of the Canadian HIV/AIDS Policy & Law Review includes an analysis of Canada's efforts to change the country's patent laws to allow drug makers to manufacture and export generic versions of patented drugs -- including antiretrovirals -- to developing countries. The analysis -- which was written by Richard Elliott, director of legal research and policy at the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network and founding member of the Global Treatment Access Group, an affiliation of Canadian civil society groups focused on the human right to health -- includes an examination of the legislation and an "overview of recent global developments leading up to Canada's initiative" (Elliott, Canadian HIV/AIDS Policy & Law Review, December 2003). Under the measure, about 50 countries would be eligible to receive generic drugs at a fraction of the prices charged in Canada. The measure also calls for special markings on and packaging for the generic drugs sold as part of the program to prevent them from being sold on the black market or reimported to Canada. In addition, the measure has a "right of first refusal" clause that would provide a patent-holding drug maker 30 days to determine if it will fulfill contracts with the same terms negotiated by a generic drug maker (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 3/15).
The complete analysis is available online.