The Central America Free Trade Agreement
has kept some generic drugs from Guatemala
even though they're available in the United States.
by Ellen R. Shaffer
and Joseph E. Brenner
Millions of people lack access to affordable medicines.
The intellectual property rules in the Central
America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) provide pharmaceutical
companies with monopoly protections that allow them to market
some drugs without competition by less costly generics.
We examined availability of certain drugs in Guatemala and found
that CAFTA intellectual property rules reduced access to some generic drugs
already on the market and delayed new entry of other
generics. Some drugs protected from competition in Guatemala will
become open for generic competition in the United States before
generic versions will be legally available in Guatemala.
[Health Affairs 28, no. 5 (2009): w957-w968 (published online 25 August 2009; 10.1377/hlthaff.28.5.w957)]