Neither Expeditious, nor a Solution

White flag with red logo of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) against sunny blue sky

© Valérie Batselaere/MSF

The WTO august 30th decision is unworkable

Canada was the first G8 country to amend its national laws to implement the World Trade Organization’s August 30th decision, allowing generic versions of patented drugs to be manufactured and exported under compulsory license.

Médecins Sans Frontières decided to place an order under the Jean Chrétien Pledge to Africa for a triple fixed-dose combination antiretroviral drug for patients in its HIV/AIDS projects. That was in 2004, over two years ago.

Not one pill has been exported, and not one patient has yet benefited from the Canadian law.

The WTO August 30th decision does not address the problems faced by developing countries in accessing medicines at affordable prices. The world still lacks an expeditious solution to exporting patented life-saving medicines.

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