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EU tries to protect developing countries from high drug costs

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: (Published 16 March 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:634
  1. Rory Watson
  1. Brussels

    The European Union has launched an initiative to ensure that developing countries battling health crises such as AIDS, but with no domestic pharmaceutical production of their own, have access to essential, low cost drugs from abroad.

    The EU has presented proposals to ease the World Trade Organization's patent protection rules—an issue that remained unresolved when WTO negotiators agreed their declaration on the trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights and public health in Doha, in Qatar, last November.

    Although a deal was struck allowing countries to produce patented drugs under compulsory licence in a public health emergency, effectively ensuring they …

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