The recent changes in the Intellectual Property law raised a lot of oppositions from the medical sector and general public.
These changes mainly aim to restrict the government from buying the cheap generic drugs for deadly diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. Officials point out to the fact that these changes in the law block the importation of parallel drugs which are cheaper. The NGOs are also against an amendment as it restricts the patient to buy drugs at a higher price only from the local market even if the same drug is available for as low as half the price in a neighboring country. These changes in the Intellectual Property law will lead to a drastic increase in the price of the essential drugs such as anti retroviral drugs (ARVs).
AdvertisementThis would affect thousands of Kenyans as it would result in increased mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS. Many activists and patients are against the incorporation of these amendments in the Intellectual Property law as it would delay procurement of essential drugs and cause many deaths. These changes were previously introduced in 2002 but the former President Moi had rejected them. Patented drugs are costly and it costs about Sh4,500 to treat one HIV/Aids patient per month while this can go down to Sh1,500 using a six-doze generic drug.