Generics and the Third World

´╗┐Generics and the Third World

Third world countries are often the most in need of
new medicines but patents prevent the production of
cheap generics, which could be one way of supplying
this demand.

As a solution the World Trade Organisation (WTO)
introduced legislation in 2003 which would allow third
world countries to let them know which medications
they require and allow companies compulsory licences
to produce generic versions of patented drugs to fill
this demand, the patent would still hold elsewhere
until expiration.

Some fear the drugs may be re-imported and sold back
to the west where seller would get a greater profit
rather than going to benefit those in need but strict
regulation that the drug be produced and imported for
humanitarian reasons only.

Another problem is ensuring prices remain low enough
for developing countries to afford, this requires a
market large enough to attract a large amount of
competition that will keep prices down.

There are many claims that large Pharmaceutical
companies are blocking efforts by countries such as
India to produce cheap generic versions of their
drugs. Drugs that are produced cheaply in these
countries are often imported to the west rather than
going to those in need in the countries of origin.

1 in 4 aids suffers have access to the HIV drugs they
need to stay alive and just 1 in 5 has access to basic
prevention services. There are currently 33,000,000
people living with HIV and AIDS.