[Ip-health] Colombia's compulsory licensing campaign story

Stephanie Rosenberg srosenberg at citizen.org
Thu Apr 26 23:58:53 PDT 2012

Read the full story here: http://www.citizen.org/colombia-CL-campaign-story

In Colombia, Latin America's third most populous country, Abbott Laboratories long charged several thousand dollars per person per year for its patented Kaletra (lopinavir+ritonavir). It was one of the most expensive medicines on the national market.

Exceedingly high prices, irregularities in drug delivery, and a growing number of patients with limited access led several civil society groups to launch a national compulsory license campaign to promote generic competition and price reductions. The activists faced an uphill battle, since President Uribe's government favored big business and maintained close ties with Washington. Nevertheless, civil society pressure, in the form of general petitions, meetings with government officials, demonstrations and press led to important changes including: major price reductions (54-68%, projected to save US$12 million in the first year alone), new regulations in favor of access to medicines (reinstatement of parallel importation and regulation for public interest licensing), a mobilized access to medicines movement, and now a court victory, finding that Abbott's price abuses violated health rights.

Read how they won: http://www.citizen.org/colombia-CL-campaign-story

The campaign continues. Technical documents, timeline, press hits, and court's decision + analysis available at: http://www.citizen.org/actions-colombia.

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