Anti-counterfeiting laws and access to essential medicines in East and Southern Africa
|Date added||August 13, 2011|
|Tags||anti-counterfeiting, human rights, medicine, policy brief|
The countries in eastern and southern Africa and the East African Community are at
various stages of enacting laws to address counterfeiting. Counterfeiting is a problem for
public health if counterfeit medicines lack the active ingredients that make them
effective, or if they are harmful. Yet laws that define counterfeiting so widely as to
include generic medicines have even greater potential public harm, as they may make
these essential medicines available as branded versions, at significantly higher cost.
This policy brief draws policy makers attention to the need to ensure that counterfeit
laws do not inadvertently include generic medicines. It discusses the key issues in these
laws and draft laws and how they are likely to affect public health and access to
essential medicines in the region.