Thailand’s government, in a landmark decision today, approved the production of cheaper versions of two major medicines for heart disease and HIV/AIDS (Plavix and Kaletra respectively). The government took advantage of the World Trade Organization’s rules on intellectual property to declare a “national emergency”, allowing them to produce and sell already patented drugs.
Health Minister Mongkol na Songkhla has been widely quoted today for saying,“We have to do this because we don’t have enough money to buy safe and necessary drugs for the people under the government’s universal health scheme”. Ms. Kannikar Kijtiwatchakul of Doctors Without Borders commented, “It is a brave decision”.
Read more on this recent development in:
International Herald Tribune
Wall Street Journal