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Actions in Ecuador

Update from the 5th Global IP Congress

Presentation: Competitive Electronic Pooled Procurement of Medicines for the Public Health System by Santiago Vasquez

“There is, in our law, what is called compulsory licensing. I, as President, can order that we issue a compulsory license for Brand X, so this medicine can be copied to make generics, and the people have access to this medicine, to health, to a cure for their illness. And this is exactly what we are going to begin to do…”

“This is our vision of intellectual property. It’s not a mechanism to enrich the pharmaceutical or agrochemical companies. It’s a mechanism for development for the people.”

Rafael Correa Delgado, President of the Republic of Ecuador



  Watch President Correa’s speech (link to youtube.com)

November 2012: Ecuador issues second license to expand access to HIV/AIDS treatments

See Public Citizen’s full statement on Ecuador’s compulsory license for abacavir+lamivudine.

En Español

On November 12, 2012, Ecuador issued a second license to promote cost-cutting generic competition for life-saving HIV/AIDS treatments. The government issued the license to Acromax, a firm based in Ecuador, to import and locally produce Glaxo’s patented abacavir+lamivudine combination (ABC+3TC)a second-line treatment in Ecuador. This will enable the government to further expand access to more affordable treatments and is intended to facilitate local production of the product. Ecuador has become a leader in the fight for access to affordable medicines. In 2009, President Correa declared access to priority medicines affecting the health of the Ecuadorean population to be a matter of public interest, effectively clearing the way for generic competition. The President declared: “compulsory licenses may be granted for patents on any human use medicine that may be necessary for treatment,” inaugurating a licensing protocol. President Correa spoke on live television for several minutes on the specific subject of compulsory licensing. In 2010, the country issued its first license for ritonavir, a component of the HIV/AIDS treatment Kaletra, cutting bid prices by about 27%.

See translated summary of the most recent compulsory licensing order in English

See the statement from Rene Ramirez, Ecuardor’s Minister of Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation for the global day of action on November 10, 2011.


Essential Action / Public Citizen documents

October 2, 2014 – Public Citizen Chart summarizing history of compulsory licensing in Ecuador

September 2, 2014 – One Step Forward, One Step Back – Ecuador issues new, pro-health compulsory licenses, but signs harmful trade agreement with the European Union (available in Spanish here)

November 20, 2012-Public Citizen statement: Ecuador licenses a second life-saving HIV/AIDS treatment to local pharmaceutical firm (En Español)

May 10, 2011-Leaked Cables Show U.S. Tried, Failed, to Organize against Ecuador Compulsory Licensing

May, 2010-Press Release: Unsupported claims in ECAT’s submission to USTR on Ecuador, intellectual property and ATPA

April 22, 2010-Press Release: By Authorizing Generic Competition, Ecuador Cuts Cost of Key HIV/AIDS Drug

March 3, 2010- Press Release: Special 301 and Ecuador’s TRIPS-Compliant Protocol on Access to Medicines and Compulsory Licensing

February, 2010-Updates and Information on Compulsory Licensing in Ecuador – Essential Action 2009-2010

February 16, 2010-Letter to USTR from Global Access to Medicines Director, Peter Maybarduk: USTR-2010-003 (2010 Special 301 Review: Identification of Countries under Section 182 of the Trade ACt of 1974 Essential Actions Corrections to Media Reports on Ecuador’s Presidential Declaration on Compulsory Licensing

November, 2009-Essential Action’s Clarifications concerning Ecuador’s Declaration on Compulsory Licensing

October 26, 2009-Essential Action’s Backgrounder on Ecuador’s Presidential Declaration on Access to Medicines and Compulsory Licenses

August, 2009 – Ecuadorian Institute for Intellectual Property: Administrative Guide for the issuance of compulsory licenses for pharmaceutical products in Ecuador

November 25, 2008 – Civil Society Letter to Dr. Gutierrez: Proposal to increase access to HIV treatment in Ecuador

Wikileaks cables

Read Wikileaks cables from U.S. Embassy personnel to the U.S. Department of State, showing the United States, multinational pharmaceutical companies, and three Ministers within the government shared information and worked to undermine Ecuador’s compulsory licensing policy.

HIV/AIDS Treatment Coverage in Ecuador

Number of patients receiving Percent of patients receiving ARV

ARV treatment, 2008-2010 treatments by line of regimen, 2010

Percent of patients receiving ARV treatments by type of treatment, 2010

Source: Organización Panamericana de la Salud, “Tratamiento antirretroviral bajo la lupa: un análisis de salud pública en Latinoamérica y el Caribe, Ecuador”, 2012.

History of Compulsory Licensing in Ecuador

Read about the development of a compulsory licensing protocol in Ecuador

See timeline on Ecuador’s compulsory licensing

For more information on Ecuador’s CL experience: Presentation by Andrés Ycaza Mantilla, President of the Ecuadorian Intellectual Property Institute


More on Access in Ecuador

Letter from Alianza in support of Ecuador’s proposed Law on the Social Economy of Knowledge (COESC)


Technical Documents


Press Hits and Civil Society Statements

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