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The fight over the cost of medicines has erupted in yet another country as members of the Chilean congress have asked the government to sidestep patents on several treatments in hopes of widening access for their citizens.

In a petition delivered on Monday, the representatives and several patient advocacy groups asked Chilean health minister Carmen Castillo Taucher to issue compulsory licenses for the Xtandi prostate cancer therapy and several hepatitis C medicines sold by Gilead Sciences.


The move comes in response to concerns over rising prices and the ability of the government to cover costs, a point that was raised two months ago when the lower house of the Chilean congress passed a resolution instructing the government to make it possible to issue compulsory licenses.

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