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China extends drug patents to 25 years

Move to ease US trade friction will benefit global pharmaceuticals

Five extra years of patent protection would give makers of name-brand drugs more time to profit in Asia's biggest market.   © Reuters

BEIJING -- China will lengthen patent protection on pharmaceuticals to up to 25 years from 20 starting this month, in a move that appears aimed at deflecting U.S. criticism over intellectual property violations.

Beijing has also scrapped import tariffs ranging up to 6% on 28 categories of drugs, including those used to treat cancer.

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