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Home Industry News Shire supports Access to Medicines regime

Shire supports Access to Medicines regime

17th August 2007

Shire has reported on its support for the Access to Medicines regime which is facilitating the manufacture of a generic fixed-dose triple combination antiretroviral drug by Canadian firm Apotex for use in Rwanda.

This treatment contains 3TC, a compound whose patent rights are held by Shire BioChem in Canada.

Under the provisions of a World Trade Organisation agreement from August 2003, Canada’s Access to Medicines regime permits member countries to issue licences for the production and export of generic formulations of patented drugs to developing countries that cannot manufacture these compounds themselves.

Shire notes that the drug manufactured by Apotex will be provided at cost and used in a country where there is a high prevalence of HIV.

Claude Perron, vice-president and general manager for Shire in Canada, said: “Shire is pleased to directly assist the global humanitarian effort to help combat HIV/Aids in sub-Saharan Africa.

“One of this global pandemic’s greatest challenges is getting essential medicines directly to those people living with HIV/Aids who need it most and yet have least access to it.”

He added that the agreement with Apotex highlights the efficacy of the Access to Medicines initiative as a means of helping HIV and Aids patients in nations where resources are limited.

Mr Perron added that the company is “honoured” to be part of this scheme and expressed hope that this agreement would lead a path to enhancing quality of life for HIV/Aids sufferers in Rwanda.

Earlier this month, GlaxoSmithKline also announced a deal with Apotex relating to the production of generics to treat HIV/Aids in Rwanda.

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