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China follows India’s lead on compulsory licensing of medicines

Reuters is reporting today that China has amended its patent law to permit “eligible companies to produce generic versions of patented drugs during state emergencies, or unusual circumstances, or in the interests of the public. For ‘reasons of public health’, eligible drug makers can also ask to export these medicines to other countries, including members of the World Trade Organisation.” This seems to go further than India’s law and to challenge a few assumptions about what WTO rules do or do not allow.

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