Brazil and India clash with EU over seizure of generic drugs

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 10 February 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b558
  1. John Zarocostas
  1. 1Geneva

    Brazil and India clashed with the European Union in the World Trade Organization (WTO) last week because of the detention by Dutch customs authorities of a shipment of a generic drug. The seizure has renewed concerns from poor nations that rich nations are resorting to harsh enforcement measures and hindering access to cheaper, life savings drugs.

    “The decision to impede the transit of a cargo of generic medicines which was not headed for the Dutch market is unacceptable and sets a dangerous precedent,” said Roberto Azevedo, Brazil’s ambassador to the WTO, at a session of the agency’s ruling general council on 3 February.

    The action that triggered the latest showdown was the detention in December of a 500 kg shipment of losartan potassium, a generic version of the active ingredient for the brand drug Cozaar, developed by Merck and Dupont, which …

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