France Criticizes United States for ‘Pressuring’ Developing Countries To Give Up Producing Generic Drugs, Including Antiretrovirals
French President Jacques Chirac in a written statement to the XV International AIDS Conference said on Tuesday that the United States is "pressuring" developing countries to give up the right to make generic drugs -- including antiretroviral drugs -- in exchange for free trade agreements, the AP/Kansas City Star reports. Chirac said that U.S. methods concerning generic drugs in free trade negotiations have been "tantamount to blackmail." Mireille Guigaz, France's global ambassador on AIDS, said, "The United States wants to put pressure on developing countries who try to stand up for their own industries." A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, called Chirac's allegations "nonsense," and said that trade agreements entered into by the United States would be consistent with World Trade Organization rules that allow developing countries to produce generic drugs (Joshi, AP/Kansas City Star, 7/13).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.