Group Allows Sales to Poor Countries

Published Online: Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Low-cost generic drugs to treat infectious diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, and AIDS will be more widely available to underprivileged countries under a new World Trade Organization (WTO) accord supported by the United States. The United States is the first of the 149 governments in the WTO to formally accept the agreement, and US trade representative Rob Portman is encouraging other nations to endorse the deal.

"Our acceptance of this amendment is an important step in the global effort in providing the best access to lifesaving drugs,"Portman said. The accord will take effect no later than Dec. 1, 2007, if it receives final ratification by two thirds of the WTO membership.

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