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In a setback to the pharmaceutical industry, the health minister in the new Chilean government has endorsed the idea of allowing the government to grant compulsory licenses for hepatitis C treatments, despite a vigorous campaign by drug makers to abandon the notion.

The decision by Health Minister Emilio Santelices comes five months after his predecessor also backed compulsory licensing, a step that was actively sought by lawmakers and patient advocates who have sought to widen access to medicines (here is the declaration).

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  • The United States uses compulsory licensing quite a bit for all sorts of technologies. We have a database of more 1,000 US court cases that cite 28 USC 1498 here: The US also grants compulsory licenses frequently in cases where injunctions are sought but rejected for infringement, including more than dozen times for medical devices.

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