Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Argentina: custom confiscates counterfeit medicines

A shipment originating from China was seized by the Customs at the port of Buenos Aires. The container was allegedly carrying electric lamps but instead they found 400,000 tablets of counterfeit medicines (info here).

The Federal Administration of Public Revenue informed that the medicines were printed with the trade marks Viagra and Cialis. The Federal Court ordered an analysis of the goods and the result showed that the tablets were adulterated. In addition, Pfizer, the firm that owns the license to manufacture this product, ratified the result.
The National Court of Criminal Economic 1, took over the case; the cause of action being contraband and counterfeit medicines.

Moot question:
If a determined firm produces a medicine which is already patented but under a compulsory license and happens to export that medicine to a country that does not carry the same policy in that particular medicine, what will be the cause of action brought by the latter country? Certainly it will be an illegal import but will it be counterfeit medicines? Also clearly at this stage is that the medicines are genuine and there is not passing off. What do you think? I would love to hear your opinions.

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