UNICEF hails Canada expanding access to AIDS drugs
UNICEF hails Canada's move to expand access to AIDS drugs
NEW YORK, 29 September 2003 - UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy praised Canada's push to quickly enact legislation allowing Canadian generic medicine companies to export cheaper versions of patented medicines to poor countries hard hit by the AIDS pandemic.
If the law passes, Canada would become the first G7 nation to implement World Trade Organization agreements that allow hard-hit countries to import critically-needed cheaper medicines provided they prove they cannot produce the medicines domestically, and will not use them for commercial purposes. The move answers an urgent call by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, Stephen Lewis, a former Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF.