Rx&D Member Companies Take Further Steps to Provide Medicines to Rwanda and
the Developing World

OTTAWA, Oct. 19 /CNW Telbec/ - As part of the ongoing collaborative efforts to improve health and save lives in the developing world, Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D) supports the actions of its member companies to provide an HIV/AIDS medicine to Rwanda under Canada's Access to Medicines Regime (CAMR).

The three Rx&D member companies whose intellectual property was used under CAMR in 2007, GlaxoSmithKline Inc., Shire Canada Inc. and Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd., have indicated that they will allow a generic drug maker to have all the necessary authorizations under the same terms as two years ago including royalty-free to produce a triple combination HIV/AIDS medicine for Rwanda.

"Collaboration is the key to making progress in the battle against disease in the developing world," said Rx&D president Russell Williams "Supporting CAMR is just one example of the many initiatives that our member companies are involved in with our partners throughout the developing world that are saving lives and improving health on a daily basis."

Rx&D hopes that generic companies improve their efforts to provide more of their products to impoverished countries recognizing that 90% of the medicines on the World Health Organization's essential medicines list are not covered under any patent and can be produced as generics.

Our members are fully committed to the principles of CAMR in its present form as a fast, efficient and effective tool to deliver medicines to the developing world. CAMR also contains the appropriate safeguards to ensure that the medicines produced under the regime reach the intended patients and meet Health Canada requirements for safety and efficacy. When put to the test, CAMR clearly works.

While much more needs to be done, the coordinated efforts of the innovative pharmaceutical industry working collaboratively with government and non government agencies worldwide have begun to show significant progress.

Recently, a joint report by World Health Organization (WHO) found that more than 4 million adults and children were receiving antiretroviral therapy in low and middle income countries at the end of 2008, a 10-fold increase in just 5 years. The greatest increase was in sub-Saharan Africa where the need is also the greatest. Similar gains have been made in providing medication to pregnant women to prevent the spread of AIDS to their children.

Rx&D member companies are fighting disease in the developing world working with Health Partners International of Canada www.hpicanada.ca and globally. A report on the 200 industry partnerships for the developing world can be found on the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Associations IFPMA) website at: www.ifpma.org/healthpartnerships . These programs, conservatively valued at $9.2 billion (U.S.), have provided medicines, vaccines, training and education to bring health care services to 2 billion people in developing countries.

About Rx&D

Rx&D is an association of leading research-based pharmaceutical companies dedicated to improving the health of all Canadians through the discovery and development of new medicines and vaccines. Our community represents 18,000 men and women working for close to 50 member companies and invests more than $1 billion in research and development each year to fuel Canada's knowledge-based economy. Guided by our Code of Ethical Practices, our membership is committed to working in partnership with governments, healthcare professionals and stakeholders in a highly ethical manner.

SOURCE Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D)

For further information: For further information: François Lessard, Communications, E-mail: flessard@canadapharma.org, Telephone: (613) 236-0455

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Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D)

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