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    LatinPharma assists developing country pharmaceutical industries


    © International Trade Centre, International Trade Forum - Issue 1/2002 

    As a follow-up to developments at the Fourth World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference in Doha, Qatar in November 2001, ITC has organized a series of activities focusing entirely on the pharmaceutical sector in Central America. The first activity was held online via the Internet from 18 to 22 March, and brought together experts to examine various aspects of trading in pharmaceuticals, namely patents, studies of bio-equivalence, good manufacturing practices and marketing of OTC (over the counter) and Rx (prescription drugs) medication. These topics were moderated by academics from Latin American universities and observed by international experts. More information can be found on the Forum web site: (http://www.ecie.org/latinpharma2002/).

    Other activities followed the discussion forum and benefited from its outcome. In El Salvador from 10 to 12 April, an international trade fair, a buyers-sellers meeting and conferences grouped enterprises, academics, professionals and bureaucrats around topics important for developing the pharmaceutical sector in five Central American countries.

    These events aimed to explore existing trade potential - estimated at US$ 150 million - and to address obstacles that make trade in this sector difficult. Experts provided individual consultations on market entry conditions, legal issues and contracts, packaging and on norms and standards. Cuba gave a presentation on the commercialization of scientific research, Brazil presented details on generic drugs and on research and development, while the WTO discussed the TRIPS agreement and the Secretariat of Central American Economic Integration (SIECA) examined unification of registration procedures of pharmaceutical products in the Central American Common Market. The United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) presented the current structure of the sector in the region, while the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (BCIE) provided information on the lines of credit available to finance trade.

    All information collected was published in various documents such as supply and demand surveys and a directory of law offices with model contracts. All publications were also distributed during the event. More information is available from the LatinPharma web site: (http://www.latinpharmaexpo2002.com.sv/LatinPharma/).

    For further additional information, contact Emmanuel Barreto at barreto@intracen.org