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Homearrow News and Events Year 2010 Court declines to bar imports of Aids drugs - Daily Nation

Court declines to bar imports of Aids drugs - Daily Nation

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The court temporarily stopped the application of the Anti-Counterfeit Act, which controls the importation and sale of generic drugs in so far as the medication may be considered counterfeit. Photo/FILE

The court temporarily stopped the application of the Anti-Counterfeit Act, which controls the importation and sale of generic drugs in so far as the medication may be considered counterfeit. Photo/FILE 

HIV-infected people had reason to be relieved on Friday when a court allowed the continued importation of life-saving drugs.

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The court also temporarily stopped the application of the Anti-Counterfeit Act, which controls the importation and sale of generic drugs in so far as the medication may be considered counterfeit.

The decision means more than 1.

.4 million Kenyans who rely on first line generic anti-retroviral drugs — Lamivudine, Zidovudine and Nevirapine — will continue receiving them.

Lady Justice Roselyne Wendoh’s ruling arose out of a case filed by the group challenging a law they say denies them access to life-saving drugs. She said she was satisfied that the group had an arguable case with chances of success.

Through lawyer David Majanja, the group said if their case was not allowed and the law was passed, it would deny them the highest attainable right to life as the cost of the original drugs might be beyond their means.

They said some sections of the Act potentially endangered their well-being. Of major concern are sections 2, 32 and 34 which, they believe, will deny them access to drugs necessary for the fulfilment of the quality of life they are guaranteed under the Constitution.

They said the Act failed to acknowledge and specifically exempt generic drugs from the definition of counterfeit goods, effectively prohibiting the importation and manufacture of generic drugs in Kenya.

One of them said she had lived with the virus for 19 years and told the court how expensive the drugs were before generics were introduced.

The unemployed woman said she only started getting a regular supply six years ago when she joined the government-run Anti-Retroviral Therapy Programme, which supplies generic drugs.

“I believe it is in my interest and of all people living with HIV/AIDS to be protected from counterfeit drugs but not all generic drugs are counterfeit,” she said.

Another woman testified that she had lived with the virus for eight years and that her five-year-old son was also infected.

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