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Old 08-28-2003, 09:21 PM   #1
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WTO delays cheap medicines for poor nations

World cheap drugs deal delayed


The deal would see rules on drug patents relaxed
The World Trade Organisation's executive has delayed final approval of a deal to give some of the world's poorest countries access to cheap drugs.

WTO members had earlier agreed in principle to a deal that could see millions of people around the world receiving medicines to treat killer diseases for the first time.

The executive had been expected to rubber stamp the deal late on Thursday, but the decision was delayed following a last-minute hitch.

"There is no deal. More consultations are required," said WTO spokesman Keith Rockwell.

The deal in principle had been struck in Geneva following an agreement on Wednesday between the United States, Brazil, India, South Africa and Kenya.

They had previously been at loggerheads over plans to make cheap medicines more widely available.

The remaining 141 WTO member nations approved the deal on Thursday.

The principle of allowing developing countries access to cheap versions of key drugs had been agreed at WTO talks almost two years ago but talks had dragged since then on implementing the deal.

American opposition

Many of the drugs at issue are patented, which means they cannot be copied for 20 years. The WTO talks aimed to ease these rules for some medicines, enabling countries in need to import cheaper versions of essential drugs.

Last December, the United States had blocked a deal on cheap drugs - even though it was backed by all other members of the WTO.

US negotiators said it would allow too many drugs patents to be ignored.

They said the proposed deal would mean that illnesses that are not infectious, such as diabetes and asthma, could also be treated with cheap, generic drugs.

But it was understood that the US would lift its opposition to a deal if WTO states pledged not to abuse the system and to only waive patents "in good faith" and not for commercial gain.

They would also be expected to take all reasonable steps to ensure cheap versions of drugs do not make their way onto markets in rich countries.

South Africa's top trade envoy Faizel Ismail had described the plan as "reasonably balanced" and "close to an acceptable solution".

"It provides some comfort to the US pharmaceutical companies that were worried about abuse," he said.

The issue has been casting a long shadow over global free trade talks since their launch in 2001.




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Old 08-28-2003, 09:44 PM   #2
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21,000 people are dying of Aids monthly in Africa alone there is no more time to wait!!!
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Old 08-28-2003, 09:58 PM   #3
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Re: WTO delays cheap medicines for poor nations

Quote:
Originally posted by Sherry Darling
They would also be expected to take all reasonable steps to ensure cheap versions of drugs do not make their way onto markets in rich countries.
While many people in the "rich countries" are going without proper medicine as well.

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Old 08-28-2003, 11:02 PM   #4
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Damn.
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Old 08-29-2003, 07:28 AM   #5
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Stop debating and DO IT!!!!!!!
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Old 08-29-2003, 08:31 AM   #6
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the rich stay rich while the sick stay poor

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Old 09-01-2003, 05:46 PM   #7
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Yes, the pharmaceutical companies MUST be comforted
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Old 09-01-2003, 05:55 PM   #8
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Well the rich nations got wat they wanted (some poor nations signed a contract to stop copying these drugs)
now we have time - busines runs fine and we can sue them ((((((
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Old 09-01-2003, 07:21 PM   #9
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I wonder sometimes if a revolution won't come someday. People waking up, tired of being poor and being continuously raped by money grubbing CEOs in the west.
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Old 09-02-2003, 09:22 AM   #10
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Supposedly a deal was signed that allows poor nations to get generic drugs now. Anyone hear more about this? Good news, if it's true.

And yes, historically, that's how most revolutions start. My Conflict Resolution books call it "relative deprevation".

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Old 09-02-2003, 10:21 AM   #11
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Yes, the deal has been signed.

From CNN:

Cheap drugs deal for poor sealed
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Old 09-02-2003, 11:23 AM   #12
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Cool! Thanks for the link nbcrusader. This is great news!
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Old 09-03-2003, 08:01 AM   #13
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Sweeeeeeeeeetttt! Thanks NBC!

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