CANADA: The chief of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Sept. 29 lauded Canada's push to quickly enact legislation allowing makers of generic medicines to export cheaper versions of patented HIV/AIDS drugs to poor countries heavily impacted by the pandemic. "The hardest hit countries are seeing HIV prevalence rates as high as 40 per cent among young people. This scenario spells devastation for these countries," Executive Director Carol Bellamy said. "Like Canada, other countries and players need to think much more creatively about steps they can take to energize and politicize the global response to this massive AIDS emergency." If the law passes, Canada would become the first of the eight most industrialized countries to implement World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements that allow heavily impacted countries to import anti-retrovirals at a preferential price provided they cannot produce the drugs domestically and would not use them for commercial purposes, according to UNICEF.

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