Thailand issues generic drug licences

 
Published: Thursday 15 March 2007

Angering global drug giants, Thailand's interim regime decided to issue more compulsory licences for import and production of generic HIV/AIDS drugs on February 12, 2007. The rising cost of AIDS treatment was cited as the reason. This will allow domestic firms to produce generic versions of drugs. The first licence was issued in November 2006.

The move will save the country US $24 million a year, said a Thai health official. In January, Thailand decided to produce copies of two drugs for AIDS, Kaletra and Plavix, both manufactured by multinationals. The decision is drawing flak from drug companies, which have described the move as unprecedented.

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