Letter from Rep. Maxine Waters to the Honorable Francis X. Ole Kaparo, Speaker of the House of the Kenyan Parliantment

June 25, 2001

The Honorable Francis X. Ole Kaparo
Speaker of the House
Parliament Building
Parliament Road
P.O. Box 41842

Dear Hon. Speaker:

I am writing to congratulate you and the Parliament of the Republic of Kenya for the passage of the Industrial Properties Bill. This bill, which was passed unanimously by the Parliament on June 12, 2001, will expand access to life-prolonging HIV/AIDS medicines for the people of Kenya.

I am aware of the fact that the provision of the Industrial Properties Bill allowing the government of Kenya to issue compulsory licenses for HIV/AIDS drugs was controversial and encountered the opposition of international pharmaceutical companies. However, antiretroviral drugs have prolonged the lives of thousands of Americans living with HIV, and there are over 2.1 million Kenyans living with HIV who could benefit from access to these drugs. International pharmaceutical companies should not be permitted to deny the benefits of these drugs to Kenyans who need them.

I applaud the members of Kenya's Parliament for their wisdom and courage in passing the Industrial Properties Bill and allowing the manufacture and importation of generic medicines for the treatment of HIV/AIDS. I will support the government of Kenya in its efforts to expand the availability of HIV/AIDS medicines in any way that I can.


Maxine Waters
Member of Congress


cc: President Daniel T. Arap Moi, President of the Republic of Kenya
His Excellency Dr. Yusuf A. Nzibo, Ambassador of the Republic of Kenya

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