Roche agrees not to enforce patents in some developing nations
April 10 2004 12:00 AM ET
Pharmaceutical company Roche announced that it will not enforce existing patents on its anti-HIV medications in countries designated by the United Nations as "least developed," Dow Jones News reports. The company's drugs include the protease inhibitors Fortovase and Invirase. Roche also markets the fusion inhibitor Fuzeon with drugmaker Trimeris, and it's unclear whether that medication will be included in the company's patent nonenforcement plan. Additionally, Roche says it will no longer file patents on new antiretroviral drugs in the U.N.-designated countries and all of sub-Saharan Africa and will not take legal action against drugmakers in the region that manufacture cheap, generic versions of antiretrovirals patented elsewhere. The company made the decision to "underscore its belief that long-term success requires business to operate in ways that are not only economically but also socially and environmentally sustainable," according to a Roche press release.