French Left group to introduce bill for public production of medicines

Deputies from La France Insoumise (LFI) and the French Communist Party (PCF) have demanded state-owned production and distribution of medicines. Caroline Fiat, MP from LFI, will introduce a bill on the subject in the French national assembly by next week

May 21, 2020 by Peoples Dispatch
A cashier processing food purchases in a shop in Marseille, southern France. Photo: AFP

A bill proposed by the French parliamentary bloc of La France Insoumise (LFI) MPs calling for the establishment of a public production unit for medicines will be introduced in the French parliament by May 26. It will be introduced in the national assembly by LFI MP, Caroline Fiat. It has been proposed by deputies including Jean-Luc Melenchon, Clémentine Autain, Ugo Bernalicis, Éric Coquerel, Alexis Corbiere, Fiat and others from LFI.

According to reports, the bill proposes to allow easier and more systematic use of the compulsory licensing provision. It proposes state-owned production of medicine, which would be allowed for export or supply to lower & middle-income countries (LMICs). The central focus of the bill is to ensure the supply of a strategic stock of essential medicines, to allow transparency in public funding of research and development, and putting conditions on the private sector benefiting from public aid for research and development on medicines and vaccines. Additionally, the bill aims to ensure control on prices of health products, wider use of “open” diagnostics platforms for testing, and to allow for the export of medicines and health products to ensure aid to other countries.

A parliamentary bloc of MPs from the French Communist Party (PCF), including Fabien Roussel, Marie-George Buffet, André Chassaigne, Jean-Paul Lecoq, and others, has also proposed a bill calling for state-control over the production and distribution of medicine and other health services.

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