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U.S. formally
allows poor countries to import generic anti-HIV drugs

U.S. formally
allows poor countries to import generic anti-HIV drugs

The United States has formally accepted an amendment to the World Trade Organization's agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) that allows developing countries to import generic versions of patented anti-HIV medications, ending years of U.S. opposition to such imports. The amendment allows countries without the capacity for making such generic drugs to import them from countries that can manufacture them. Two thirds of the WTO members must approve the amendment before December 1, 2007, for it to become a permanent part of the TRIPS agreement. U.S. trade representative Rob Portman says the United States was the first country to formally approve it. "Our acceptance of this amendment is an important step in the global effort in providing the best access to lifesaving drugs," Portman told London's AFX News. (Advocate.com)

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