The New York Times describes how, as the U.N. begins its meeting on non-communicable diseases (NCDs), Chinese and Indian generic drug makers "say they are on the verge of selling cheaper copies" of costly biotech medications used to treat cancers, diabetes, arthritis and other chronic illnesses. "Their entry into the market in the next year -- made possible by hundreds of millions of dollars invested in biotechnology plants -- could not only transform the care of patients in much of the world but also ignite a counterattack by major pharmaceutical companies and diplomats from richer countries," the newspaper writes.
"Already, the Obama administration has been trying to stop an effort by poorer nations to strike a new international bargain that would allow them to get around patent rights and import cheaper Indian and Chinese knock-off drugs for cancer and other diseases, as they did to fight AIDS," the New York Times writes, adding, "In retrospect, the battle 10 years ago over AIDS medicines was a small skirmish compared with the one likely to erupt over cancer, diabetes and heart medicines" (Harris, 9/18).
This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.