No money for drugs despite Drug Importation Bill

KENYA: No money for drugs despite Drug Importation Bill

NAIROBI, 13 Sep 2001 (PLUSNEWS) - The Kenyan government announced on Wednesday that it did not have enough money to buy anti-retroviral drugs needed to treat HIV/AIDS, even though its parliament recently passed legislation allowing the country to import and manufacture cheaper generic drugs, the ‘Standard’ newspaper has reported.

In June this year the Kenyan parliament passed the Industrial Properties Bill, which would allow the country to “suspend drug patent rights” in a national health emergency to import into, or produce within the country, less expensive generic medicines. According to the Bill, Kenya must give drug makers six months’ notice before licensing other companies to import or produce generic versions of patented drugs, the report said.

Dr Richard Muga, Director of the Kenyan Department of Medical Services, said the government hoped to receive money for HIV/AIDS drugs from the United Nations Global AIDS and Health Fund. According to the report, the government’s lack of money “dealt a big blow to people living with AIDS who had hoped that the passing of the Bill would make drugs more accessible”


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