By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com May 03 2003 12:00 AM ET
The Mexican congress this week voted 177-172 against a bill that would have shortened patent protections for anti-HIV and anti-cancer drugs from the current 20 years to just 10 years. If approved, the law would have allowed generic drug companies in Mexico to produce cheap generic versions of patented anti-HIV drugs after the medications had been on the market for a decade. The bill was sponsored by the Mexican Environmentalist Green Party. Opponents of the bill claimed that the Green Party's head, Jorge Gonzalez Torres, had a personal stake in the measure because his uncle is a leading shareholder in the country's largest generic drug store chain.