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[e-drug] EU agrees deal on cheaper drugs for developing world

E-drug: EU agrees deal on cheaper drugs for developing world

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BMJ  326:1229 (7 June 2003)

EU agrees deal on cheaper drugs for developing world 
Rory Watson 

The European Union has agreed measures to encourage drug
companies to sell drugs to treat AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis to
poor countries at low prices without running the risk that the drugs
would find their way on to Europe's black market. 

Under the plan, exporters are invited to put their products - either
patented or generic - on a tiered price list run by the European

To have their products featured on the list the companies must agree
to sell the drugs at a 75% discount on European prices or to apply
just a 15% mark up on the cost of production. 

The products will then be stamped with a special logo that can be
easily identified by customs authorities. Any attempt to import the
items back into Europe would be treated as a criminal offence. 

The scheme will apply to 76 least developed and low income
countries - mainly in sub-Saharan Africa - that are unable to produce
locally the drugs they need and where HIV/AIDS is particularly

The EU believes that the system will stamp out the growing
phenomenon of cheap drugs destined for developing countries being
smuggled back into Europe. 

The EU hopes that the scheme, which will come into effect within
days, will be taken up by other rich countries, notably the United
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