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AFRO-NETS> Global HIV/AIDS support from G8 countries
- Subject: AFRO-NETS> Global HIV/AIDS support from G8 countries
- From: Claudio Schuftan <email@example.com>
- Date: Fri, 6 Jun 2003 09:53:18 -0400 (EDT)
Global HIV/AIDS support from G8 countries
G8-summit-health-drugs: G8 nations pledge cheaper drugs for poor but
charity slams plans
Agence France-Presse - June 2, 2003
EVIAN, France, June 2 (AFP) - Group of Eight leaders pledged Monday
to make cheaper drugs for diseases such as HIV/AIDS more easily
available in developing nations, but faced criticism from aid groups
for failing to take specific action.
In a "health action plan" released at the end of their summit at the
French spa town of Evian, the industrialised nations' club promised
to boost the distribution of cheap medicines in a "fair, efficient
and sustainable" way.
Welcoming drugs companies' efforts to make discounted drugs more
available, the G8 leaders said they would "strongly support" further
efforts, although the paper contained little in the way of specific
Additionally, the statement backed a moratorium on challenging coun-
tries under World Trade Organisation rules over the production of ge-
neric versions of patented drugs.
Pharmaceutical multinationals have long been criticised by health ac-
tivists for the prices they charge for HIV/AIDS drugs and for their
efforts to prevent generic copies of the medicines being made.
However British aid agency Oxfam slammed the G8 declaration as little
more than "a bland statement of intent".
"The issue of patents is the most significant running sore in the
health debate, and they have completely skirted it," said Oxfam
spokesman Phil Twyford.
Last month Britain's GlaxoSmithKline, the world's leading supplier of
HIV/AIDS drugs, which has faced particular criticism, slashed the
price of its top anti-retroviral treatment for the world's poorest
countries by almost half.
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