Roche Will Not Enforce Patents on Antiretroviral Drugs in ‘Least-Developed’ Countries
Pharmaceutical company Roche on Wednesday announced it will no longer file patents for antiretroviral drugs and drugs to treat other diseases or enforce existing patents on those drugs in countries that the United Nations has designated as "least developed," Dow Jones News reports (Dow Jones News, 3/31). In addition, Roche said it will not file patent applications for any new antiretroviral drugs in sub-Saharan Africa and will not take legal action against generic drug manufacturers in the region that produce versions of drugs for which Roche owns the patent, according to a Roche release. Roche also said it has adopted a not-for-profit approach to selling its protease inhibitors in least-developed countries. According to the release, Roche said that such moves "underscore[e] its belief that long-term success requires businesses to operate in ways that are not only economically, but also socially and environmentally sustainable" (Roche release, 3/31).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.