On September 19, 2007, the Commissioner of Patents granted the first authorization under Canada's Access to Medicines Regime (CAMR) to generic manufacturer Apotex, Inc. The authorization is to manufacture a fixed-dose combination tablet of three compounds used in the treatment of HIV/AIDS, zidovudine, lamivudine and nevirapine, for export to Rwanda.
CAMR came into effect in 2005 as a result of amendments to the Patent Act and the Food and Drugs Act. The purpose of the regime is to improve access to drugs and medical devices that are needed to address public health problems afflicting many developing and least developed countries, especially those resulting from HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other diseases. The regime is based on a World Trade Organization decision that allows member countries to authorize someone other than the patent holder to manufacture a lower cost version of a patented drug for export to developing countries that do not have the capacity to manufacture them. Canada was one of the first countries to implement such a regime. CAMR allows the Commissioner of Patents to authorize the use of inventions pertaining to Canadian patents in order to facilitate the provision of pharmaceutical products to developing nations facing public health crises such as AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.
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