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  • Trade talks fail to deliver drugs to world's poor

At a last-ditch meeting in Geneva, the countries of the World Trade Organisation have failed to agree on rules allowing the poorest countries to import expensive patented medicines at cheap prices.

The dispute will now go to a global meeting of trade ministers in Cancun, Mexico in September.

Without a settlement, global trade rules will not permit people in the poorest countries to buy cheap generic versions of recently-developed, patented and therefore expensive drugs. This especially affects drugs for recently emerged diseases such as HIV/AIDS and drug-resistant TB, which are currently devastating poorer nations.
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