MONTREAL, Aug. 15 /CNW/ - Shire BioChem Inc. announced today that it is
pleased to support Canada's Access to Medicines Regime to enable a Canadian
company (Apotex) to manufacture in Canada a generic fixed dose triple
combination antiretroviral medicine that contains a drug (3TC(R)) over which
Shire BioChem Inc. holds patent rights in Canada. The medicine will be
provided at cost and used for the treatment of HIV infection in Rwanda, an
African country with significant HIV prevalence levels.
Canada's Access to Medicines Regime is based on an August 2003 World
Trade Organization (WTO) agreement which permits WTO member countries with
pharmaceutical manufacturing capacity to issue licences for the manufacture
and export of generic versions of patented drugs and medical devices to
developing countries that do not have the capacity to manufacture the products
themselves. Shire agrees that the compulsory licence should be royalty-free in
this instance on the understanding that the medicine will be used to treat the
patients for whom it is intended, and that it will be sold to Rwandan
authorities by the generic manufacturer at a no profit basis.
Claude Perron, Vice President and General Manager for Shire in Canada
stated: "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. Today's
agreement demonstrates that Canada's Access to Medicines Regime is an
effective tool to help people living with HIV/AIDS in resource-limited
settings access the treatment they need. We are honoured to be part of today's
ground-breaking Canadian initiative and trust that this important first step
will contribute to improving the quality of life for people living with
HIV/AIDS in Rwanda."
Notes to Editors
Shire is a global specialty biopharmaceutical company with a strategic
focus on meeting the needs of the specialist physician. Shire focuses its
business on Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), human genetic
therapies (HGT), gastrointestinal (GI) and renal diseases.
For further information on Shire, please visit the Company's website:
Shire BioChem Inc. is Shire's Canadian subsidiary. Shire is dedicated to
improving the quality of life for patients, their families and caregivers.
Through the commitment of our employees, we're making a difference in the
health of Canadians and the communities in which they live.
For further information:
For further information: Matthew Cabrey (Shire North America), (484)
595-8248, firstname.lastname@example.org; Lorne Fox (Shire BioChem Inc.), (514) 787-2352,