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G8 pledges support for cheap drugs

G8 pledges support for cheap drugs

作者:顾其欺  时间:2019-03-06 06:03:00  人气:

By Debora MacKenzie The G8 nations – the world’s seven biggest economies plus Russia – have ended their summit in Genoa, Italy with a pledge to help poorer countries gain access to “affordable” drugs for AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. But they rejected any changes to the patents system, which is accused of keeping drug prices high, and failed to agree on how to buy drugs and vaccines for the poor. In Genoa the G8 pledged $1.3 billion to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and malaria. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan had called for a minimum of $7 billion. The eight also left it to Canada, host of next year’s summit, to solve a dispute between the US and the EU over how to spend the money. The EU is concerned the Fund could become a windfall for pharmaceutical giants and has said it will contribute only if the companies promise to sell to it at guaranteed low prices. But US Trade Commissioner Robert Zoellick told EU trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy in June that the US opposed such a “rigid” arrangement. Zoellick also said the drugs giants had already offered sufficiently low prices. Their prices are not as low as prices available from generics manufacturers, which copy the patented drugs, but generics will not be available after 2005 under World Trade Organisation patent rules. Aid organisations such as Oxfam are calling for changes to patents to allow generics to continue. But even as they called for “the broadest possible provision of drugs”, the G8 “reaffirmed” its commitment to the existing patent system. They even called on the WTO to help the poorest countries, which now mainly buy cheap generic drugs,