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[e-drug] USTR letter to Thailand

E-drug: USTR letter to Thailand
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The White House has just provided a letter that was send an hour ago
to Thailand. The new letter, which was requested by CPT, Act Up,
MSF and the other members of the Health Gap Coalition, tells the Thai
government that the US will raise no objection to the issuance of a
TRIPS compliant compulsory license, and that the decision to issue
such a license is "one for Thailand to make." We have a hard copy,
will be scanning this in for the web, so people can get a facsimile that
includes the USTR letterhead and Joe Papovich's signature. Without
going into the details, I will say that the Office of the Vice President
was very helpful in getting this letter out the door.

Jamie Love 

James Love, Consumer Project on Technology
P.O. Box 19367        | http://www.cptech.org
Washington, DC 20036  | mailto:love@cptech.org
Voice 1.202.387.8030  | fax 1.202.387.8030

[Congratulations to all activists. This is a historical moment! HH]

<-------------------begin USTR letter--------------------->

                EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
        OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES TRADE REPRESENTATIVE
                     WASHINGTON, D.C. 20508

                    Jan 27 2000

Mr. Paisan Tan-Ud
Chairman of PHA Network of Thailand

Dear Mr. Paisan Tan-Ud:

I am writing in response to your letter to President Clinton regarding
efforts to improve access to treatment and care for HIV positive Thai
citizens. We recognize and support the Government of Thailand's goal
of extending effective health care to all its citizens-including people
now living with AIDS. This is a goal we fully endorse and believe can
be achieved while providing appropriate protections for intellectual
property.

As the President announced last December in his speech to the WTO
ministerial, and the Vice President reiterated in his January speech at
the United Nations Security Council, the United States is committed to
helping developing countries gain access to affordable medicines,
including those for HIV/AIDS. As a result, the United States will
ensure the application of U.S. trade law related to intellectual property
remains sufficiently flexible to respond to public health crises.

We encourage Thai officials to explore all options for extending access
to effective treatments, including ongoing direct dialogue with
pharmaceutical manufacturers. But the final choice is one for Thailand
to make. 

If the Thai government determines that issuing a compulsory license is
required to address its health care crisis, the United States will raise
no objection, provided the compulsory license is issued in a manner
fully consistent with the WTO Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of
Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).

We share with the Government of Thailand a belief that access to
modern pharmaceuticals can be enhanced in a manner that assures
the safety and efficacy of the drugs, preserves intellectual property
rights, and promotes the worldwide pursuit of newer, more effective
medicines.

               Sincerely,

               Joseph S. Papovich
               Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for
               Services, Investment and Intellectual Property


<------------------end  USTR letter--------------------> 

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