NY Times Lettter-to-the-Editor on MSF concerns that a provision in proposed U.S. health care legislation will allow pharmaceutical companies to extend monopolies on high-priced, cutting-edge medicines.
MSF testified at a hearing before the US Trade Representative about the effect of US trade and intellectual property pressures on global health policy and efforts to expand access to affordable medicines in developing countries.
Doctors Without Borders is urging law makers to revise a provision in the U.S. health care legislation that would essentially allow pharmaceutical companies to extend their monopolies on a rapidly expanding and high-priced brand of drugs known as biologics. Biologics--medicines derived from living cells--hold great promise for new vaccines and medicines. Unfortunately, the biologics provision in the current legislation will create a massive barrier to developing generic versions of these cutting-edge drugs.