Timeline of US-Argentina Dispute on Pharmaceutical Patents

Jennifer Ellen Mattson
University of California at Berkeley / CPTech
April 20th, 2005

Table of Contents

Menem's First Administration: 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995

Menem's Second Administration: 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999

De La Rua Administration: 1999 2000

List of Key Players

Menem's First Administration

During the first Administration of Argentine President Carlos Saul Menem, the US applied pressure to officials in the Argentine government to pass a patent law for pharmaceuticals. At the time, Argentina was plagued by enormous sums of foreign debt accrued during the 1980s and severe bouts of hyperinflation. Because the process and composition of pharmaceuticals have historically been considered a public good in Argentina, they were not eligible for patents. This lack of patent protection facilitated the success of a large Argentine non-research-based pharmaceutical industry that copied and produced foreign drugs to the dismay of the research-based multinational drug industry, which insisted upon compensation for its research and development of new drugs.

July 8th, 1989

August 10th, 1989

September 1989

December 11th, 1989

December 18th, 1989

December 1989

Early January, 1990

January 10th, 1990

January 12th, 1990

Mid-February, 1990

March 23rd, 1990

May 11th, 1990

May 12th, 1990

June 8th, 1990

June 19th, 1990

June 20th, 1990

August 3rd, 1990

August, 1990

September 7th, 1990

September 10th, 1990

November 6th, 1990

November 30th, 1990

December 11th, 1990

December 14th, 1990

January 11th, 1991

February 1991

February 20th, 1991

Early March, 1991

March 4th, 1991

Mid-March, 1991

March 25th, 1991

March 26th, 1991

March 27th, 1991

April 1991

May 3rd, 1991

Mid-May, 1991

May 24th, 1991

June 1991

July 1991

August 6th, 1991

Late August 1991

August 28th, 1991

September 10th, 1991

September 21st-26th, 1991

September 27th, 1991

October 2nd, 1991

October 4th, 1991

October 10th, 1991

December 1991

December 10th, 1991

December 27th, 1991

January, 1992

January 23rd, 1992

February 6th, 1992

February 10th, 1992

Mid to Late February, 1992

February 27th, 1992

March 6th, 1992

March 9th, 1992

Mid- March, 1992

March 16th, 1992

April 9th, 1992

April 15th, 1992

April 20th, 1992

May 12th, 1992

May 27th, 1992

June 19th, 1992

Late June, 1992

August 1992

Early September 1992

September 17th, 1992

September 21st, 1992

September 23rd, 1992

September 25th, 1992

September 27th, 1992

Early October, 1992

November 7th-8th, 1992

Mid to Late November, 1992

December 1992

January, 1993

February 1993

March 3rd, 1993

March 10th, 1993

March 18th, 1993

March 25th, 1993

April 1993

April 27th, 1993

May 3rd, 1993

June 6th, 1993

June 10th, 1993

June 11th, 1993

Mid-June, 1993

June 17th, 1993

June 28th, 1993

Late June, 1993

July 1st, 1993

July 29th, 1993

August 5th, 1993

August 6th, 1993

August 9th, 1993

August 11th, 1993

August 12th, 1993

October 1993

Early November, 1993

November 15th, 1993

Late November, 1993

December, 1993

March, 1994

March 29th, 1994

Early April 1994

April 21st, 1994

May 3rd, 1994

Early to Mid-May 1994

May 19th, 1994

June 2nd, 1994

August 1994

September 1994

October 7th, 1994

October 13th, 1994

October 21st, 1994

November 8th, 1994

November 22nd, 1994

December, 1994

January 5th, 1995

February, 1995

March 9th, 1995

March 16th, 1995

March 24th, 1995

March 29th, 1995

April 12th, 1995

April 17th, 1995

April 18th, 1995

April 26th, 1995

April 29th, 1995

May 2nd, 1995

May 3rd, 1995

May 14th, 1995

Menem's Second Administration

After the passage of TRIPs in 1994 and its (partial) implementation in 1995, the US has a new basis for its arguments in support of Argentine patent rights. The obligations taken on by Argentina, somewhat vague in the text of TRIPs itself, will be fodder for continued conflict between the foreign and Argentine pharmaceutical industries and the two governments during the second Menem Administration.

Mid-May, 1995

May 23rd, 1995

May 27th, 1995

June 1st-2nd, 1995

June 14th, 1995

June 21st, 1995

June 20-23rd, 1995

July 19th, 1995

August 1995

September, 1995

September 28th, 1995

October 18th, 1995

October 25th, 1995

November 3rd, 1995

November 10th, 1995

November 10th, 1995

November 13th, 1995

November 15th, 1995

December 3rd, 1995

December 7th, 1995

December 11th, 1995

December 12th, 1995

December 15th, 1995

December 22nd, 1995

January 2nd, 1996

January 3rd, 1996

January 4th, 1996

January 6th, 1996

January 17th, 1996

February, 1996

February 20th, 1996

February 23rd-28th, 1996

February 29th, 1996

Early to Mid-March, 1996

March 14th, 1996

March 20th, 1996

March 21st, 1996

March 28th, 1996

April 10th, 1996

April, 1996

Late April, 1996

April 25th, 1996

April 30th, 1996

May 3rd, 1996

May 9th, 1996

May 23rd-24th, 1996

June, 1996

June 12th, 1996

June 19-20, 1996

July 16th, 1996

July 26th, 1996

August 1st, 1996

September 20th, 1996

September 24th-26th, 1996

October 4th, 1996

Week of October 10th, 1996

October 15th, 1996

October 21st, 1996

October 25th, 1996

October 29th-30th, 1996

November 7th, 1996

November 20th-21st, 1996

November 27th, 1996

Early December, 1996

December, 1996

December 5th, 1996

December 6th, 1996

December 9th, 1996

December 10th, 1996

December 12th, 1996

December 18th, 1996

December 19th, 1996

December 20th, 1996

January, 1997

January 6th-7th, 1997

January 14th, 1997

January 15th, 1997

January 16th, 1997

January 18th, 1997

February 4th, 1997

February 12th, 1997

February 13th, 1997

February 18th, 1997

March 7th, 1997

March 24th-27th

April 1st, 1997

Early April, 1997

April 7th, 1997

April 8th, 1997

April 9th, 1997

April 15th, 1997

April 18th, 1997

April 23rd, 1997

April 30th, 1997

May 5th, 1997

May 7th, 1997

May 9th, 1997

May 12th, 1997

June 9th, 1997

Mid-June, 1997

June 24th, 1999

July 14th, 1997

August 12th, 1997

August 19th, 1997

August 22nd, 1997

September 9th, 1997

October 3rd, 1997

November 19th, 1997

December 5th, 1997

January 13th-14th, 1998

Mid-January, 1998

January 29th, 1998

February 23rd, 1998

February 27th, 1998

April 3rd, 1998

April 7th, 1998

April 14th, 1998

Week of April 25th, 1998

May 1st, 1998

Mid-May, 1998

May 17th, 1998

June 1st, 1998

June 9th, 1998

July 1998

September 10th, 1998

October 7th, 1998

October 23rd, 1998

December 1998

January 29th, 1999

January 20th-21st, 1999

February 9th, 1999

February 11th, 1999

April 1999

April 21st, 1999

Late April, 1999

May 5th, 1999

May 6th, 1999

May 10th, 1999

May 12th, 1999

May 14th, 1999

May 17th, 1999

May 18th, 1999

May 20th, 1999

May 26th, 1999

May 27th, 1999

May 28th, 1999

June 2nd, 1999

June 8th, 1999

June 16th, 1999

June 17th, 1999

June 18th, 1999

July 5th, 1999

July 16th, 1999

July 23rd, 1999

August 5th, 1999

September, 1999

September 30th, 1999

October 5th, 1999

October 22nd 1999

November 16th, 1999

November 17th, 1999

November 19th, 1999

December 3rd, 1999

De la Rua Administration

December 10th, 1999

December 14th, 1999

December 21st, 1999

December 28th, 1999

January 10th, 2000

February, 2000

February, 2000

March, 2000

March 19th, 2000

March 21st, 2000

March 22nd, 2000

March 23rd, 2000

March 26th, 2000

May 30th, 2000

April 6th, 2000

April 28th, 2000

April, 2000

July 2000

September 2000

October 24th, 2000

Key Players


Madeline Albright
Albright served as US Secretary of State under President Bill Clinton from 1997 until 2001.

Bernard Aronson
Aronson was Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs under US President George Bush from 1989 until 1993. He was an international advisor to Goldman and Sachs.

James Baker
Baker served as Secretary of State under US President George Bush from January 1989 until August 1992. As Secretary of State, Baker was credited as a significant contributor to the reunification of Germany and the transition of Eastern Europe from communism to democracy. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1991. From 1997 until 2004, Baker was UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's personal envoy to conflict in the Western Sahara. In 2000, he acted as chief legal counselor to Republican Presidential candidate George W. Bush. He is now a senior partner with Baker Botts, LLP and a senior counselor to the Carlyle Group, a large private equity group whose specialties include defense and healthcare.

Charlene Barshefsky
Barshefsky, the United States Trade Representative from 1997-2001 under President Bill Clinton, is as of February 2005 Senior International Partner at Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale, and Dorr, LLP. Since June 2002, Barshefsky has been a director of Idenix Pharmaceuticals, a biotechnology company acquired in May 2003 by Novartis. Ambassador Barshefsky also serves on the corporate Board of Directors for American Express, Estee Lauder, Intel, and Starwood Hotels and Resorts.

Bill Bradley
Bill Bradley was a Democratic US Senator who represented New Jersey from 1979 until 1997. In 2000, he ran for President but was unsuccessful in gaining his party's nomination. Since 2001, he has been chief outside advisor to the nonprofit practice of McKinsey and Company. In 2005, he became managing director of Allen and Company, LLC. He serves on the boards of directors of Quinstreet, Inc. and Starbucks.

George H. W. Bush
Bush served as the 41st President of the United States from January 1989 through January 1993. He was defeated in the 2000 election by Democratic candidate Bill Clinton.

James Cheek
James R. Cheek was appointed US Ambassador to Argentina by President Clinton in March 1993. He held this position until 1996. As of March, 2002 he was ambassador-in-residence and a lecturer at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Warren Christopher
Christopher was appointed Secretary of State by Bill Clinton in 1993. Upon his retirement from the State Department in January 1997, he returned to Olmeny & Myers, LLP as a senior partner.

Bill Clinton
Clinton was President of the United States from January 1993 until January 2001.

William Daley
Daley served as US Secretary of Commerce from January 1997 until June 2000. He was chairman of Al Gore's campaign for the US presidency from June 2000 until December 2000. From November 2001 through May 2004, he was president of telecommunications company SBC. In October 2004, he was named to the Board of Directors of Abbott Laboratories, a major US pharmaceutical company.

Lawrence Eagleburger
Eagleburger was appointed Deputy Secretary of State by US President George Bush in 1989. In August 1992 he became Acting US Secretary of State. He was sworn in as US Secretary of State the following December. After retiring from the public sector, Eagleburger served on the board of Dresser Industries. When Dresser was acquired by Halliburton in 1998, he accepted a position on the Halliburton board of directors.

Stuart E. Eizenstat
During the second Administration, Eizenstat filled a number of posts including Deputy Treasury Secretary, Under Secretary of State for Economic, Business and Agricultural Affairs and Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade. As of March 2005, he is head of the international trade and finance division of the law firm of Covington and Burling.

J. Michael Farren
Farren was undersecretary for international trade for the US Department of Commerce from 1989 until 1992. In 1992, he was deputy campaign manager for President George Bush's reelection campaign. After the election, Farren joined Xerox Corporation, where he was named a vice president in 1994. As of March 2005 he is vice president of external and legal affairs, general counsel, and corporate secretary to Xerox.

Myles Frechette
Frechette, assistant US Trade Representative for Latin American affairs during the first Clinton Administration, served as US Ambassador to Colombia from 1994 to 1997. He was subsequently a consultant with Hills & Co., an international consulting firm overseen by former USTR Carla Hills, and president and CEO of the Council of the Americas, an organization of American businesses operating in Latin America.

Al Gore
Gore was Vice President of the United States under President Bill Clinton from January 1993 until January 2001. In 2000, he campaigned unsuccessfully for the Presidency. As of 2005, he is president of INdTV, a cable news network catering to the youth market, chairman of Generation Investment Management, and a director of Apple Computers.

Carla Hills
Ambassador Hills was United States Trade Representative under George Bush from 1989 until 1993. She is now chairman and C.E.O. of Hills and Company, a consulting firm.

Mickey Kantor
Kantor was appointed to the position of United States Trade Representative by President Clinton in 1993. He subsequently became US Secretary of Commerce. After leaving his second cabinet position in 1997, Kantor became a partner at Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw LLP. He was a member of President Clinton's legal team during the impeachment proceedings against the President. As of March 2005, Kantor is still a partner at Mayor, Brown, Rowe & Maw; he is also a senior advisor at Morgan Stanley. Kantor serves on the board of directors at Pharmacia Corporation and Monsanto.

Jim Leach
Leach has been a US Congressman from Iowa since 1976. He is chairman of the subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs of the House Committee on International Relations and chairman emeritus of the Committee on Financial Services.

Thomas McLarty
Childhood companion to Bill Clinton Thomas McLarty served as White House Chief of Staff, Counselor, and Special Envoy for the Americas during President Clinton's first term (1993-1997). As of March 2005, he is a senior advisor to the Carlyle Group, president of Kissinger-McLarty Associates (a consulting group serving American multinationals), and chairman of McLarty Companies, a transportation company.

Robert A. Mosbacher
Mosbacher was US Secretary of Commerce under President George Bush from 1989 until 1992. Since then, he has been chairman of Mosbacher Energy Company and Mosbacher Power Group.

Manuel Rocha
Rocha was Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Buenos Aires from July 1997 until October 1997, when he became the Embassy's Charge d'Affaires. In July 2000, he became the US Ambassador to Bolivia, where he served until 2002.

Joan Spero
Spero was Undersecretary of State for Economic, Business and Agricultural Affairs from 1993 to 1997 under President Bill Clinton. Since 1997, she has been president of the Doris Duke foundation, a philanthropic organization supporting the performing arts, the environment, and medical research.

Terrence Todman
Todman served as US Ambassador to Argentina from April 1989 until June 1993. A Career Ambassador for the State Department, Todman is now president of Todman and Associates, Inc and a consultant to several US and Argentine businesses.


Eduardo Bauza
Bauza became Secretary of Health in 1999. He was subsequently chief of staff to President Carlos Menem and was a Senator in Argentina. In 2000, he was charged with accepting bribes.

Domingo Cavallo
Cavallo served as Foreign Minister beginning in 1989. In 1991, he was appointed Minister of Economy. He resigned in 1996 to start a new political party. In 1997, he won a seat in Congress. After losing the Presidential election of 1999, he was again appointed Minister of Economy in 2001 by President Fernando de la Rua, but was removed from the office at the close of 2001. Since then, he has been a professor at NYU's Stern School of Business (2002-2003) and Harvard University (beginning in 2003).

Pablo Challu
Challu was director of domestic trade under the first Menem administration. He later became the director of CILFA, an association of large Argentine labs, and subsequently served as secretary for consumer defense under Argentine President Eduardo Duhalde.

Fernando de la Rua
De la Rua was President of Argentina from December 1999 until December 2001, when he was forced out of office during a financial crisis.

Guido Di Tella
Di Tella, who had previously served as Argentina's Ambassador to the US, replaced Domingo Cavallo as Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1991, when Cavallo became Minister of Economy.

Eduardo Duhalde
Duhalde, Argentina's Vice President under President Carlos Menem from 1989 through 1991, was governor of Buenos Aires from 1991 through 1999. He lost the Presidential election of 1999 to Fernando de la Rua, but became President in February 2002 after De la Rua's resignation.

Norma Felix
Felix was director of the Argentina Patent office (INPI) until she was fired. US Embassy officials speculated that her issuance of exclusive marketing rights to foreign pharmaceutical companies motivated her dismissal.

Antonio Erman Gonzalez
Gonzalez held various key posts in the Menem Administration, including Minister of Health and Social Action, Minister of Economy, Minister of Defense, and Minister of Labor.

Horacio Jaquenod
Jaquenod was appointed director of the INPI office by President Carlos Menem when Norma Felix was fired. As of May 2004, he was General Consul of the Argentine Republic in Milan.

Manuel Limeres
Limeres served under Undersecretary Menendez during the first Menem administration. As of 2004, he is the director of ANMAT, the National Administration of Medicines, Ailments, and Medical Technology.

Carlos Saul Menem
Carlos Menem was President of the Republic of Argentina from 1989 until 1999. In 2001, he was arrested and placed under house arrested over alleged involvement in an arms scandal. Expecting to lose the 2003 Presidential election, Menem moved to Chile, where he was protected from extradition to face embezzlement charges. He has since returned to Argentina and remains involved in Argentine politics.

Eduardo Menem
As of February 2005, Eduardo Menem continues to serve as a Senator in Argentina.

Matilde Menendez
Menendez was Undersecretary of Health during the first Menem administration. She later acted as the director of the National Institute of Social Services for Retirees and Pensioners. In March 2003, she was charged with perjury following her testimony in the trial of several police officers being charged as accessories in a 1994 bombing.

Raul E. Granillo Ocampo
Ocampo, a friend of President Menem, was Argentina's Ambassador to the United States between 1993 until 1997, when he became Argentina's Minister of Justice. In August 2004 he was tried in an Argentine court for accepting illegal funds.

Raul Ochoa
A February 2005 article in Newsweek described Ochoa as "a consultant for the Argentine Department of Industry and Trade." (See Hudson, Peter, "Brazil's Corporate Raiders" Newsweek 28 February 2005)

Humberto Roggero
Roggero was a leader of the Peronist party in the Argentine Chamber of Deputies. In May 2003, he was appointed Argentine ambassador to Italy.

Oscar Saggese
Oscar Saggese was Secretary of Industry and Trade during the first Menem administration. In January 2002, he became executive vice president of Grupo BAPRO, a group of banks in Buenos Aires.

Carlos Sanchez
Sanchez was Sub secretary of the Economy under Argentine Minister of Economy Domingo Cavallo. Upon the resignation of Federico Sturzenegger in 2001, Sanchez became Secretary of Economic Policy.

I would like to thank James Love and Manon Ress for their invaluable assistance in the preparation of this timeline.