Reuters (04.20.12) - Monday, April 23, 2012
High Court Judge Mumbi Ngugi ruled Friday that lawmakers must
revisit Kenya's Anti-Counterfeit Bill of 2008 to more clearly
define the difference between generic and fake medicines. A
previous court order had prevented the act from taking effect.
Three HIV patients filed suit in 2009, claiming the act was
unconstitutional because it threatened the importation of
life-saving medicines by confusing generics and fakes.
Generic drugs comprise the majority of medicines used in
Kenya. Slightly more than 500,000 of the 1.5 million Kenyans
living with HIV/AIDS have access to antiretroviral drugs, most
of which are generics.
"The act is vague and could undermine access to affordable
generic medicines since the act had failed to clearly
distinguish between counterfeit and generic medicines," Ngugi
In a statement issued by Doctors Without Borders, petitioner
Patricia Asero said the ruling "speaks against any ambiguity
that serves to undermine access to generic medicines and puts
the lives of people before profit."