French Tax Raises Money For Drugs—And IP Concerns

Law360, New York (August 11, 2006, 12:00 AM EDT) -- As international governments and drug companies struggle to find a balance between protection of intellectual property and the rights of poor nations to access crucial medications, a controversial new French initiative stands to fuel the debate by pressuring the pharmaceutical industry to lower prices.

Billed as a “tax for Third World medicine,” the initiative—the brainchild of French President Jacques Chirac and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva—was introduced in France last month, and is set to be implemented in 14 additional countries.

Under the program,...
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