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No deal in sight on cheap drugs for poor countries

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.326.7387.465/a (Published 01 March 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:465
  1. Fiona Fleck
  1. Geneva

    Trade talks broke down last week after the United States, under pressure from its powerful pharmaceutical lobby, rejected revised proposals to give poorer nations access to cheap, lifesaving drugs.

    It was the second time negotiators from the 144 member nations of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) tried to rescue a deal after the United States blocked it in December, forcing member nations to miss their deadline for agreement at the end of 2002.

    The deal is aimed at saving the lives of millions of people in poor developing countries with illnesses such as AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis who die each year because their countries cannot afford the drugs needed to treat them.

    Diplomats said …

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