[Ip-health] Bangkok Post: compulsory licesnes on key AIDS drugs extended

James Love james.love at keionline.org
Thu Aug 5 04:32:32 PDT 2010


The extension of the compulsory licenses in Thailand concern both the
term of the licenses and the patients who can benefit from the
compulsory licenses. In particular, the licenses make generic AIDS drugs
available to many more non-Thai citizens living and working in
Thailand, who were previously excluded. 

(Note: Donors agencies, including the cash strapped Global Fund, who now
pay for treatments for some foreign workers, will also benefit from the
lower prices.) 

Jamie

-----------
* Compulsory licensing has saved 1.18 billion baht on the purchase of
anti-retroviral drugs. Another 3.2 billion baht in anti-retroviral drug
costs could be saved if compulsory licensing of the two drugs was
extended until the end of their patents, Public Health Minister Jurin
Laksanavisit said.

* Thailand's compulsory licensing has also forced down the prices of
Efavirenz and the Lopinavir-Ritonavir combination by 3.4 and 6.4 times
respectively since the country announced its policy on HIV/Aids and
cancer drugs in November 2006.

* Before the compulsory licensing of the two drugs, about 4,539
HIV-positive people had access Efavirenz and only 39 could afford the
Lopinavir-Ritonavir combination, he said.

*  The policy resulted in an increase in the number of patients
receiving Efavirenz to 29,360. More than 6,200 people now receive the
Lopinavir/Ritonavir combination.


HIV/Aids drugs licence extended

Apiradee Treerutkuarkul, Bangkok Post, August 3, 2010

The Public Health Ministry plans to extend the licensing period of two
HIV/Aids drugs this month.

The decision to extend the licensing period was made yesterday at a
meeting of representatives from the Disease Control Department, the
Department of Intellectual Property, the Foreign Ministry, the
Government Pharmaceutical Organisation, the Food and Drug Administration
and a network of Aids activists.

They agreed the country's policy on compulsory drug licensing was
legitimate and in accordance with the 2001 Doha Declaration signed by
all member countries of the World Trade Organisation.

Disease Control Department director-general Manit Teeratantikanon is
expected to sign the official announcement next month.

The decision follows the National Health Security Office board meeting
in June which proposed the ministry extend the compulsory licensing
policy to override patents for Efavirenz and a combination of Lopinavir
and Ritonavir until their patents had expired.

The patent for Efavirenz will expire on Jan 31, 2012, while that for
Lopinavir/Ritonavir falls due on Dec 4, 2016.

The two regimens are crucial for the treatment of people living with
HIV/Aids under the three health care schemes: civil servants, social
security and universal health care.

The access to the drugs will also cover about 4.5 million people from
ethnic minorities and those who were born on Thai soil but are waiting
for verification of their citizenship, Disease Control Department deputy
director-general Somsak Akkasilp said.

The extension would enable the Government Pharmaceutical Organisation to
import generic versions of the two drugs from pharmaceutical companies
in India, he said.

Compulsory licensing allows a government to produce a patented product
or process without the consent of the patent owner. It comes under the
World Trade Organisation's agreement on intellectual property to help
provide developing countries with greater access to drugs.

Compulsory licensing has saved 1.18 billion baht on the purchase of
anti-retroviral drugs. Another 3.2 billion baht in anti-retroviral drug
costs could be saved if compulsory licensing of the two drugs was
extended until the end of their patents, Public Health Minister Jurin
Laksanavisit said.

Thailand's compulsory licensing has also forced down the prices of
Efavirenz and the Lopinavir-Ritonavir combination by 3.4 and 6.4 times
respectively since the country announced its policy on HIV/Aids and
cancer drugs in November 2006.

Before the compulsory licensing of the two drugs, about 4,539
HIV-positive people had access Efavirenz and only 39 could afford the
Lopinavir-Ritonavir combination, he said.

The policy resulted in an increase in the number of patients receiving
Efavirenz to 29,360. More than 6,200 people now receive the
Lopinavir/Ritonavir combination.
-- 
James Love, Director, Knowledge Ecology International
http://www.keionline.org | http://www.twitter.com/jamie_love
Wk: +1.202.332.2670 | US Mobile +1.202.361.3040 | Geneva Mobile +41.76.413.6584





More information about the Ip-health mailing list