Thailand Does About-Face On Cancer Drug Patents

Law360, New York (March 10, 2008, 12:00 AM EDT) -- In a turnaround from recent promises to reconsider its aggressive stance on compulsory licenses, Thailand's new government has decided to override international patents on three cancer drugs under pressure from health activists and doctors.

Thailand's public health minister Chaiya Sasomsap said Monday that compulsory licenses issued by the government of former Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont in early January would move forward. The licenses cover Novartis' breast cancer drug Letrozole, Sanofi-Aventis’ breast and lung cancer drug Docetaxel, and Roche’s lung cancer drug Erlotinib.

Chaiya said he had...
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