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  • Monday, October 24, 2005

    Avian flu: Taiwan takes the smart course of action

    From the BBC:

    Taiwan has responded to bird flu fears by starting work on its own version of the anti-viral drug, Tamiflu, without waiting for the manufacturer's consent.

    Taiwan officials said they had applied for the right to copy the drug - but the priority was to protect the public.


    Taiwan will produce six kg of its version of Tamiflu - enough, according to the government, to renew its stocks.

    The government has said it will not market the drug commercially.

    Production of the drug on a small scale has already started.

    A top health official said Taiwan had demonstrated its goodwill to Roche in talks - and the country hoped it would eventually secure permission to copy the drug.

    "We have tried our best to negotiate with Roche," Su Ih-jen told Reuters news agency.

    "It means we have shown our goodwill to Roche and we appreciate their patent. But to protect our people is the utmost important thing," he said.

    A generic version of the drug produced by the island's National Health Institute is said to be 99% akin to the Tamiflu produced by Roche.

    Officials say they can make their version of the drug more quickly - and at a lower cost - than Roche does.


    At 10/24/2005 02:19:00 pm, Blogger Jez said...

    Patents on health drugs should not exist. Is that too revolutionary?

    At 10/24/2005 03:11:00 pm, Blogger DJEB said...

    Not at all, unless your point is to prove (like mathematics has already done so) that the market cannot guarantee the maximum utility in a society.

    At 10/24/2005 11:51:00 pm, Blogger Jez said...

    Well I think that was my point..but then I've never been much of a mathmatician!


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