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August 23, 2009

Activists say poor nations' access to affordable drugs stymied

"Activists in the U.S., as well as Thailand and other developing countries, have accused the Obama administration of blocking greater access to affordable drugs in a bid to win the pharmaceutical companies' support for its healthcare overhaul.

"Organizations such as Doctors Without Borders and Oxfam International -- an anti-poverty group -- said they had hoped President Obama would join them in the fight to make generic drugs available to combat disease in impoverished countries.

"But 'it appears that Obama appointees are continuing to work from the playbook of the last administration,' said Oxfam policy advisor Rohit Malpani. The British-based group had opposed President George W. Bush's trade policies as being detrimental to public health."

Read more in Los Angeles Times, August 20, 2009.