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A Dutch government commission on compulsory licensing was nearly sabotaged last month after one of its members leaked information to a pharmaceutical industry trade group, according to a commission member and a report that was subsequently issued by the head of the committee.

The commission was created last year to research the use of compulsory licenses as a way for the Dutch government to cope with rising prices for prescription medicines. Under world trade rules, a country may grant a license to a public agency or a generic drug maker, allowing it to copy a patented medicine without the consent of the brand-name company that owns the patent.


However, the commission encountered an unexpected division of opinion and subsequently learned that one unnamed member had “violated the trust” held in the group by “sharing” the draft, according to the final report that was submitted last week by the economics minister to the Dutch parliament. One commission member told us the information was shared with the HollandBio trade group.

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  • Sorry Ed but I don’t get it. For Covid-19, why can’t the Dutch government simply import remedesivir from India at the dirt cheap price? Per John’s Hopkins dataa from today, we are looking at a mere 51,000 confirmed cases there!

    • Hi John,

      The issue is not anyone drug, of course.
      But to answer your question, the Netherlands would have to be on the list of countries to which the generic manufacturers may sell their versions of the medicine, per the licensing agreement with Gilead.

      ed at pharmalot

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