Pfizer, GSK and Bayer accept Ecuador’s plan to break patents

- Last updated on GMT

Late last week Ecuador’s government announced plans to sidestep patents on more than 2,000 drugs, enabling them to produced local or imported as “generics”

The government, led by President Rafael Correa, said the decision was motivated by a desire to improve access to medicines and public health, explaining that it will issue “compulsory licenses” to local manufacturers and pay innovator firms up to 10 per cent sales revenues by way of compensation.

Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Bayer expressed their support for the decision, telling the Associated Press​ that: “No legal right is superior to the requirements of public health​.”

Ecuador’s move is in keeping with similar actions taken by countries including Brazil and Thailand, which has broken patents to allow local manufacture or importation of generic versions of certain drugs in a bid to cut prices.

Related topics: Markets & Regulations, Globalization

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