Canada passes law to make cheap AIDS drugs
May 15 2004 12:00 AM ET
Canada's senate on Thursday passed legislation that will make the country the first Western nation to allow the manufacture of cheap, generic versions of patented anti-HIV medications to be sold to developing countries, Agence France-Presse reports. The Canadian House of Commons already passed the measure, and the bill will next receive royal assent before it take effect. Senate officials expected final approval to come on Friday. The bill amends Canada's patent laws to allow the government to override patents to allow some drugs firms to produce and export generic antiretroviral medications. Generic tuberculosis and malaria drugs also will be permitted to be manufactured under the legislation.