Mexico lifts regulation requiring AIDS drug companies to have manufacturing plants in Mexico in order to sell generics

On the day of the opening ceremonies of the XVII International AIDS Conference in Mexico City, President Felipe Calderon announced his plans to lift a Mexican Ministry of Economy requirement that pharmaceutical companies operating in Mexico must have a manufacturing plant in that country in order to use or sell generic versions of their lifesaving AIDS and other drugs in Mexico.

This regulation has been an onerous and archaic requirement that has all but crippled the availability of far less expensive generic versions of drugs throughout the country. Calderon’s new policy is to take effect immediately.

“President Calderon’s repeal of the requirement that drug companies have manufacturing plants in Mexico in order for any company to import, use or sell generic copies of drugs is tremendous news for Mexicans in desperate need of access to lifesaving medications for HIV/AIDS and other diseases,” said Dra. Patricia Campos, Latin America Bureau Chief for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) and a member of the ‘Coalicion de Activistas por el Accesso Universal en VIH/SIDA’. “I believe President Calderon’s actions earlier today came in no small measure thanks to the ongoing advocacy efforts of a growing group of dedicated activists in Mexico who have been pushing the government and industry on this issue. We salute President Calderon for his forward-thinking action which should dramatically improve and save the lives of countless Mexicans. It was the right thing for President Calderon to do with or without the pressure from activists; he did it, and we thank him for overturning this outdated requirement.”

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