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WTO director-general Lamy's comments well recepted by GPhA


ARLINGTON, Va. Remarks by World Trade Organization director-general Pascal Lamy at the 11th annual International Generic Pharmaceutical Alliance conference in Geneva got a warm response from the Generic Pharmaceutical Association.

"The U.S. generic pharmaceutical industry has consistently argued that a sound balance needs to be struck between innovation and competition in a rules-based trading system," GPhA president and chief executive officer Kathleen Jaeger said in a statement. "Director-general Lamy clearly affirmed that the GATT, the GATS and TRIPS all recognize the right of WTO members to give priority to health policies, even if it leads to trade restrictions."

GATT, GATS and TRIPS refer respectively to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, the General Agreement on Trade in Services and the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.

Lamy noted that the Paragraph 6 flexibilities relating to the 2001 Doha Declaration, often criticized as too cumbersome and complex, were used for the first time in September 2008 by Canada to ship HIV and AIDS medicines to patients in Rwanda. GPhA said the WTO should evaluate this in its next annual review so that it can enhance access to medicines.

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