Democrats Seek Clarification on U.S. Stance on Compulsory Licenses in Columbia

June 2, 2016

Fifteen House Democrats are calling on top U.S. trade officials to clarify the administration’s position on compulsory licensing for Novartis’ cancer drug Gleevec in Colombia.

According to the congressmen, Colombian officials were considering issuing a compulsory license for generic Gleevec production, but backed down after U.S. trade officials allegedly implied that $450 million in U.S. funding could be at risk if they did.

The congressmen called the allegations “deeply troubling,” stressing that compulsory licenses are permissible under U.S. trade agreements and the World Trade Organization agreement. They added that they are not aware of any actions the Columbian government had taken that are inconsistent with WTO rules.

View today's stories