Monday, 22 September 2014

Ecuador presses ahead with compulsory patent licences

Since it amended its law in 2009 in order to make use of the TRIPS flexibilities in favour of developing countries, the Ecuadorian Institute of Intellectual Property (IEPI) has received 32 applications for compulsory patent licences.  While some have been refused or abandoned, nine have resulted in the grant of licences for the production of drugs in widespread use (the first three being for Ritonavir, Lamivudine and Abacavir -- antiretroviral drugs that the Ministry of Public Health provides as free treatment to patients suffering from HIV/AIDS).

Nine of the applications to the IEPI for these mandatory licences have been made by a public company Enfarma, which now holds licences to manufacture Sunitinib and, mor recently, Certolizumab. The grant of compulsory licences is seen as a means both of making important medicines more widely available to those who need them and of reducing the dependency of Ecuador on imported medicines.

Source: "Nine Mandatory Licences Allow Greater Access To Medicines In Ecuador" by Maria Augusta Alvarez Moreno (ANEPI, Agencia de Noticias Especializada en Propiedad Intelectual), this being the English translation of the original Spanish text, posted on IP Watch here, from which more information can be obtained.

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