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WTO Close to Accepting Prescription Drug Plan for Poor Countries - 2003-08-27

World Trade Organization negotiators are close to accepting a plan on providing prescription drugs to poor countries.

WTO leaders are in talks to come up with an agreement ahead of the group's full meeting in Cancun, Mexico, in two weeks. On Wednesday, the South African and Kenyan ambassadors to the WTO signaled their support for the draft.

Talks on the prescription drug issue have been stalled since December, when the United States blocked an accord that was supported by all the other WTO members. U.S. pharmaceutical companies fear a deal allowing poor countries to import foreign generic drugs will cut into their profits.