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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update

KENYA: Kenyan Court Ruling Upholds Access to Generic Drugs


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 said.

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."


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Information in this article was accurate in April 23, 2012. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.