Kenya to formulate law on importing generic drugs

Nairobi- Kenya (PANA) -- Kenyan authorities announced Tuesday that they were working on legislation that would allow the importation of anti-retroviral generic drugs.
Trade Minister Nicholas Biwott also said the authorities have also proposed an amendment to the Industrial Property Act so as to increase affordable access to medication for opportunistic infections for people living with HIV/AIDS.
This action, Biwott said, was necessary as government recognised the basic principles of intellectual property rights as balancing between public interest and the rights of holders.
The minister added that the government has an obligation to ensure that the public has easy access to medicine.
Biwott, who was speaking during the official opening of the Kenya Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) week, said for the protection of copyright owners to be effective, there was need to update legislation which can be enforced.
To this, he said, the country's Attorney General was in the process of repealing the copyright act to bring to conformity with recent developments, locally and internationally.
Biwott described the launch of the KIPO week as timely at a time when Kenyans were increasingly becoming aware of the importance and relevance of intellectual property rights.
Researchers, industrialists and government officials are attending the one-week event.

05 june 2001 14:34:00

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