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Kenyan Government Must Review Law On Counterfeit Drugs, High Court Rules

“Kenya’s High Court ruled on Friday that lawmakers must review legislation that could threaten the import of generic drugs, allowing Kenyans to continue accessing affordable medicine,” Reuters reports. In 2009, three people living with HIV filed a lawsuit arguing that the definition of counterfeit drugs in Kenya’s Anti-Counterfeit Bill of 2008 was too broad and “unconstitutional because it threatened access to life-saving generic medicine by confusing generic and fake medicine,” the news agency notes (4/20).

“The ruling means that the government must amend the laws that confuse generic medicines with counterfeits and remove ambiguities that may result in arbitrary seizures of generic medicines under the guise of fighting counterfeits,” Capital FM reports (Jillo, 4/20). In a press statement, UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe said, “A vast majority of people in Kenya rely on quality generic drugs for their daily survival. Through this important ruling, the High Court of Kenya has upheld a fundamental element of the right to health. … This decision will set an important precedent for ensuring access to lifesaving drugs around the world,” according to the U.N. News Centre (4/20).