Thursday, 2 July 2009

Manufacturers, public health interests clash over Kenyan law

"Kenya Pressured To Implement Anti-Counterfeit Law Despite Access Fears" is the title of an article by Nicholas Wadhams which has just been published on the excellent Intellectual Property Watch website. The piece explains how the Kenya Association of Manufacturers is pressing for the Anti-Counterfeit Act to come into force by mid-July and is in talks with the government to make sure that happens. The law was passed last year but has not yet taken effect because of budgeting and procedural delays. Public health campaigners are opposing, arguing that the Act’s definition of what constitutes a counterfeit product is too vague and could be used to block the import and local manufacture of generic drugs.

The article illustrates the difficulties and tensions that arise where an attempt to cure one severe problem has the actual or potential consequence of causing another, with the result that responsible bodies and individuals representing good causes are pitched against against each other rather than being in a position to unite against common foes.

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