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FTA with USA can cause division among Andean Nations

FTA with USA Can Cause Division among Andean Nations

Bogota, Feb 9 2005 (Prensa Latina) Medicine patents are threatening unity among Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru in the negotiations for a FTA (Free Trade Agreement) with the United States, currently developing in Cartagena, the capital of northern Bolivar department.

Negotiators from Peru and Ecuador have rejected Colombia’s attempts to make them change their regulations, putting forward that doing so, would restrict access to generic drugs thus, increasing medicine prices.

The Colombian delegation has unsuccessfully tried to attract Peru and Ecuador, both in the Andean coordination meetings and those held Monday in Cartagena, when the 7th FTA Negotiation Round began.

But Peruvians and Ecuadorians are reluctant to accept that proposal, because they say it would entail changes in their internal regulations, which does not include protection to test data for medicines and agrochemical products

Representatives of both countries maintain that it could generate rejection by different sectors of the population, due to fear of an increase in protected-medicine prices.

However, the media is speculating that Ecuador could yield to the Colombian position, but highlighted that Peru has maintained a definite rejection to the US proposal and Bogotá’s position.

 source: Prensa Latina