IPS Examines How Uganda’s Anti-Counterfeit Bill Could Impact Access To Generic Drugs

Inter Press Service examines Uganda’s “controversial Counterfeit Goods Bill,” which some say will limit the public’s access to “life-saving generic medicines.”

According to the news service, Gagawala Wambuzi, Uganda’s trade minister “who is spearheading the bill,” recently defended the bill as a means of protecting the country’s industry from counterfeiters, but he agreed the bill should not restrict the manufacturing or importation of generic drugs.

Still, groups are calling for the bill to be redrafted. Uganda’s Registration Services Bureau, for instance, “believes the bill should be redrafted specifically only fill the gaps in the existing [intellectual property] legal frameworks in the Copyright Act and Trademarks Act,” IPS writes, adding that similar counterfeit measures adopted in Kenya and Tanzania could threaten the production of generic medicines (Michael, 4/29).