Canadian House Approves Bill To Make It Easier To Supply Cheaper Generic Drugs To Developing Nations

from the this-is-important dept

We've discussed a few times how the current patent regime is causing massive problems in poor and developing countries around the world, where simple and available medications would save many, many lives (which would also help those economies). Tragically, in our over-active belief in patents, governments in the developed world have argued, completely unconvincingly, that drug companies have to price drugs at ridiculous prices via monopolies, even in developing nations where people can't afford them, in order to make it worthwhile to invest in the drug. There is little actual evidence to support this claim, and in fact, basic common sense suggests there's little to support this. A few years back, Canada tried to deal with this issue by passing a law that would allow generic drug manufacturers to produce cheaper drugs for a specific list of developing nations. However, the process was full of red-tape, and involved negotiating with the patent holder (potentially multiple times). In the end, despite being in place for years, the law was actually used only once.

Some politicians in Canada have been pushing for a revamp of the law to make it much easier to get those generic drugs into developing nations, and thankfully the Canadian House has approved the bill. The Senate still has to vote on it, and it appears there are concerns about the likelihood of it getting approved there, but it's still notable that a drug bill aimed at getting around patents and helping developing nations even got this far....


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    Michael, Mar 14th, 2011 @ 5:38am

    Not likely now...

    Our current government is pretty useless to anyone but Alberta and the very rich. Election soon though and back to reducing spending and fixing the Reform party mess.

     

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    JS, Mar 14th, 2011 @ 7:31am

    How about cheaper drugs for us?

     

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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Mar 14th, 2011 @ 7:43am

    Region Locking

    So, a rich person in the 'developing' world will have access to cheaper drugs than a poor person in the US.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2011 @ 7:50am

    It would really seem funny if Canada started sending cheap drugs to the U S A. But as time marches on, and the middle class is slowly destroyed by out sourcing and automation, who knows...

     

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    NovaScotian, Mar 14th, 2011 @ 7:51am

    "However, the process was full of red-tape, and involved negotiating with the patent holder (potentially multiple times). In the end, despite being in place for years, the law was actually used only once." The Canadian Parliament is only marginally less influenced by "big Pharma" than the US is.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2011 @ 9:01am

    @ChurchHatesTucker

    See the title of article ...Canadian....Canada is not part of the usa and i pay 2$ regardless of the drugs cost for my medication.

    TIS means they can sell generics overseas to nations whom were only able to pay for non generics and pay big time....
    see article a few below about the 10$ dose becoming 1500$...IN THE USA.
    that is what your govt is doing to you and the world trying to get a world wide tax on IP.

    FAIL .....when people see jobs here because of it the game is up.

     

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    Mikkel Paulson (profile), Mar 14th, 2011 @ 6:41pm

    It also bears mentioning that this is a private members' bill that was pushed through the House of Commons by the opposition parties against the objections of the ruling Conservative party. The vote did see some Conservative MPs voting in favour, but I doubt if it'll pass the Conservative-dominated Senate. (Unlike most votes in the House of Commons, this one wasn't “whipped”, which means that MPs weren't forced to vote along party lines. Notice that the Prime Minister couldn't be bothered to vote at all.)

    You know what would help everyone? Eliminate patents on all pharmaceuticals in Canada and reallocate the billions saved in our health care system to medical research. Wham bam.

    Step 1: Support the Pirate Party of Canada!

     

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    Android18, Mar 15th, 2011 @ 4:44am

    Hey

    This should not even be issue needing approval
    You should do all you can as a country and Company to deliver as much medicine to people of all countries for bottom line cost

    This doesnt need to be an issue,
    Your supposed to help people, its why we are Humane
    We should unite and ban These corporations from exploiting humans for invisible dollars,

     

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