Canada Considers Amendment To Compulsory Licensing Regime For Medicines Access08/03/2011 by Tavengwa Runyowa for Intellectual Property Watch Leave a CommentShare this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Much of our best content is available only to IP Watch subscribers. We are a non-profit independent news service, and subscribing to our service helps support our goals of bringing more transparency to global IP and innovation policies. To access all of our content, please subscribe now.The Canadian Parliament is on the verge of amending the nation’s patent regime to make it easier for generic drug companies to provide low-cost HIV medications for developing countries. [Update: the bill passed the lower house of Parliament on 9 March and now heads to the Senate.] Passed with unanimous parliamentary support in 2004, the Canada Access to Medicines Regime (CAMR) was intended to accomplish this goal, according to Richard Elliott, executive director of the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network (Legal Network). However, the compulsory licensing regime has only been used once to supply AIDS drugs to Rwanda.Critics have argued that the CAMR is highly bureaucratic and user-unfriendly. These barriers have dissuaded generic drug manufacturers from using the licensing system, they say.Bill C-393 is the culmination of a long process to reform the CAMR. If the bill passes, it will amend Canada’s Patent Act in ways aimed at encouraging the widespread use of the regime.Support for Bill C-393 has been widespread, according to Elliott. The Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign has mobilised more than 200 advocacy groups across Canada. Approximately 32,000 Canadians have also signed a petition tabled in Parliament, with an excess of 12,000 people sending postcards of support to the Industry Committee.The likelihood of the bill passing is high, according to sources. All three of Canada’s major opposition parties have expressed their support, Elliott said, and a growing number of Parliamentarians from the governing Conservative Party have also confirmed their intention to support the bill. The vote is set to take place on Wednesday, 9 March.More information is available from the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network.Tavengwa Runyowa was an intern at Intellectual Property Watch from January to March 2011. Share this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)RelatedTavengwa Runyowa may be reached at email@example.com."Canada Considers Amendment To Compulsory Licensing Regime For Medicines Access" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.