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April 3, 2009

Canadian Bill Would Help Send Affordable HIV Meds Overseas

While a 2004 amendment to Canada’s Patent Act aimed to make medications more accessible to developing nations, only one shipment of low-cost HIV meds has been shipped since then, the Ottawa Citizen reports. Lawmakers are now working to reform what it called Canada’s Access to Medicine Regime (CAMR) by streamlining overseas drug distribution.

According to the article, Senator Yoine Goldstein proposed a bill this week that would allow generic manufacturers to send multiple shipments of the same medication to various countries more efficiently, enabling nongovernmental organizations to purchase and distribute the medication under CAMR.

“The red tape that is built into the legislation inhibits people from doing it—they just don’t want to be bothered,” Goldstein said. “The truth is this [reform] should have been done a long time ago. Children are dying of HIV and AIDS in Africa and other developing areas every day.”

A second reading of the bill is scheduled in the Senate for early May.

Search: Canada, Canada's Access to Medicine Regime, developing countries, Africa


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