China taking aim at patented drugs

China, which long has flouted intellectual property laws, is at it again.

According to Reuters News Service, China has amended its patent law to compel domestic companies to create generic versions of patented drugs. The amended law limits the licenses to states of emergency, unusual circumstances or public interest, but the wiggle room is wide enough to be "likely to unnerve global drugmakers," according to the website Pharmalot.

India approved a similar measure three months ago. And Thailand has issued "compulsory licenses" allowing knock-offs of patented drugs.

Reuters pointed out that the decision came in the midst of an HIV crisis in China.

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