TORONTO, September 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Apotex Inc, the largest Canadian-owned pharmaceutical company, is pleased to announce that Apo-TriAvir, a triple combination HIV/AIDS drug, approved under Canada's Access to Medicines Regime (CAMR), is ready to ship to Rwanda, the only country to make a request through a program tender process. The first shipment of seven million tablets, which will help save the lives of 21,000 people, is scheduled to leave from Toronto on September 24th, 2008. Apotex is doing this on a humanitarian, not-for-profit basis.

"While we are extremely pleased to be able to make this important and historic contribution, there is a reason no other company has tried to provide medicines under this regime. It is too complex and has to be repeated for every request that comes in from a country. For Canada to truly be able to provide help, the regime must be changed. Apo-TriAvir will save lives the moment the patients have access to it but it is now up to the federal government to fix CAMR," said Jack Kay, Apotex President.

Canada's Access To Medicines Regime came into force in May 2004 and is meant to allow Canadian generic drug makers to legally produce patented, brand-name drugs for export to developing countries. The Canadian regime is based on a 2003 World Trade Organization (WTO) to allow developing countries to import lower-cost medicines their populations desperately need. After almost four and a half years in the CAMR process, Apotex is the only company to have submitted, received approval, and then negotiated through the very complex CAMR process.

Apotex competed against pharmaceutical companies from around the world in the tender to supply this AIDS drug. A second shipment of seven million doses is scheduled to leave in September 2009.

"This is an important and exciting time for Apotex and all of our employees who worked so hard for so long with the hope of making a difference. Despite the many hurdles and setbacks we have suffered due to this ineffective regime, we have persevered and now we will make a direct impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands of people who desperately need our help." Kay said.

Apotex has 6,000 employees in Canada and manufactures 300 medicines which are exported to 115 countries. It has over 600 products under development with planned R&D expenditures of CDN$2 billion over the next 10 years.

For further information: Mr. Elie Betito, Director Public & Government Affairs, Tel: +1-416-749-9300 Ext. 7366, Cell: +1-416-558-5491,

For further information: Mr. Elie Betito, Director Public & Government Affairs, Tel: +1-416-749-9300 Ext. 7366, Cell: +1-416-558-5491,