Russian government will permit production of HIV drugs bypassing the patent-holders


The Russian government is ready to allow the production of anti-HIV drugs bypassing patents of their right-holders.

This will be in the form of the federal law, that will officially come into a force on July 1 of the current year, and will provide the power to the national government to establish the procedure for issuing permits for use of a the drug and its production within Russia without the consent of the patent holder.

In recent years Russia has faced with epidemics of HIV infection, however the government does not have the necessary amount of funds to ensure the purchases needed medicines.

According to Russian Ministry of Health data, 581,700 people live with HIV in Russia, of whom only 40% receive antiretroviral therapy.

The new state initiative has already received support from the Russian Parliament (State Duma). A spokesman for the Duma press service said there is a need to introduce a mechanism for compulsory licensing of drugs which are not produced in Russia, in the case of absence of effective mechanisms to ensure citizens’ access to drugs.

To date, the Russian Federal Anti-Monopoly Service (FAS) has already designed amendments to the Russian Civil Code which allows the use of patents without the consent of the right holder.

In the meantime, the new initiative has been criticized by some drug majors operating in Russia, according to which, its implementation may result in the suspension of the launch of new drugs on to the market.