GARPP requests permission from Boehringer to import generic nevirapine
Polly Clayden, HIV i-Base
The Generic Anti-Retroviral Procurement Project (GARPP) and the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) Treatment Project have requested permission from the originator company Boehringer Ingelheim for the right to import generic nevirapine to South Africa. Refusal to grant this voluntary licence will lead GARPP and the TAC to apply to the Commissioner of Patents for compulsory licenses through the courts.
This request, made on 26 September, follows previous attempts from the TAC and Medicins sans Frontieres South Africa to obtain voluntary licences for nevirapine since 1999.
The Medicines Control Council (MCC) has already licensed generic nevirapine for use in South Africa and it can be purchased for just over R70.00 per month, compared to R410.00 for a month’s supply of Boehringer’s Viramune. But without Boehringer’s permission importing generic nevirapine remains illegal.
Additionally the TAC and GARPP stress that Boehringer’s exclusive licence prevents access to new co-formulated antiretroviral pills that can make combination therapy as simple as two pills a day
TAC Electronic Newsletter 28 September 2003