After India, Now Indonesia Introduces Patent Licenses For Generic Versions Of Drugs
from the who's-going-to-be-next? dept
As we noted a couple of weeks ago, when we wrote about India's moves to issue compulsory licences for the production of generic versions of expensive, patented drugs, the big fear for Western pharmaceutical companies was that other countries might follow suit. It looks like that's happening in Indonesia, where the country's president has signed a decree authorizing low-cost versions of key HIV drugs:
the measure would introduce widespread generic competition and generate major cost savings in the world’s fourth most populous country. The decree licenses patents for a slate of HIV medicines, and represents one of the most robust uses of pharmaceutical patent licensing power by a country since the World Trade Organization 1995 Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (WTO's TRIPS).
Again, the concern for the major drug manufacturers must be that this latest move will encourage even more countries to start granting patent licenses for drugs needed by their populations, but which are currently unaffordable thanks to Western-level pricing. Indeed, it's hard to see what can stop that happening now that India and Indonesia have shown the way by invoking the right of countries to issue compulsory patent licenses, as enshrined in TRIPS.