Action Aid queries motive of drug-gift development body

Action Aid has criticised a new charity that has been set up to donate drugs to developing countries.

International Health Partners UK, which has received the blessing of the Prime Minister, aims to divert some of the £150m-£200m- worth of pharmaceutical products destroyed in the UK each year for use in poorer countries.

But Action Aid has questioned the motives behind the charity, which has been backed by pharmaceutical companies.

Its HIV/Aids campaigner Simon Wright said: "This is not a solution. People in poor countries need long-term access to medicines rather than ad hoc donations.

"Drug companies shouldn't hide behind smokescreens. They must allow poorer countries to make their own generic copies of patented medicines."

Companies are shortly expected to be eligible for tax breaks if they donate drugs to poor countries.

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