Jun 21st, 2009 | CARACAS, Venezuela -- Venezuelan officials plan to invalidate some pharmaceutical patents and allow domestic manufacturers to produce licensed medicines, an action that could cause shortages and scare off foreign investment, industry leaders said Sunday.
Edgar Salas, president of Venezuela's pharmaceutical business chamber, warned that abolishing patents could prompt the world's largest drug manufacturers to stop exporting medicines to Venezuela. . . .
Saman said the measure is aimed at making the interests of powerful drug companies secondary to the needs of Venezuelans suffering from diseases such as cancer or AIDS.
"We cannot allow transnational medicine companies to impose their rights on the Venezuelan people," Saman told state television. "Patents have become a barrier to production and we cannot allow barriers to the access of medicine." . . .