Poor countries get extension of access to cheaper generic drugs
Saturday December 19 2015
People living with HIV or sick with malaria benefit the most from the generic drugs. PHOTO | FILE
“The waiver, which was due to expire in January 2016, has now been extended until two-thirds of WTO members ratify the proposal to remove the waiver,” said a WTO official in Nairobi, adding that this could take another 20 years.
Drug patents last 20 years to give drug manufacturing companies time to recoup their investment in research and development and turn a profit. Once the patent protection period ends, other drug companies can then copy the drug and sell it as a generic medicine. These generics are much cheaper than branded drugs.