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Canada decides to lead the way in exempting AIDS drugs from patent laws

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: (Published 09 October 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:832
  1. David Spurgeon
  1. Quebec

    Canada's industry minister says his government will try by Christmas to exempt generic forms of drugs to treat AIDS and other drugs destined for poor countries from patent laws.

    His announcement was followed by a statement from the organisation representing Canada's manufacturers of brand name drugs, saying it would help Canada “to show international leadership” in implementing last August's World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement to give poor countries access to cheap generic medicines to treat life threatening diseases such as HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria (6 September,517).

    The minister, Allan Rock, warned that reaching this …

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