Positive networks and patient groups delivered Coffins to European Commission’s Office at New Delhi today

Don’t Trade Our Lives Away | February 8, 2012

Positive networks and patient groups delivered Coffins to European Commission’s Office at New Delhi today

Ahead of India-EU Summit, DNP+ members delivered coffins to European Commission’s office today with a demand to refuse the provisions from the draft text of India-EU FTA that will impact the access to medicines.

Statement read out by the group at the EC’s office

8 february 2012, New Delhi

Since 2007, people living with HIV, cancer, heart disease, mental illness and many other diseases have been watching the European Commission pursue dangerous trade policies that threaten our access to medicines.

The demands of the European Commission in the EU-India FTA on intellectual property and investment protection will overturn a decade of treatment access for people living with HIV in developing countries. Over 80% of those on HIV treatment in the developing world are on Indian made generics. In the case of paediatric AIDS medicines, the share of Indian generic companies is over 90%. Not just ARVs, generic medicines for cancer, heart disease, mental illness, etc. All come from India.

By asking India to adopt intellectual property standards above WTO requirements, the EC is placing profits before people. It is asking the Indian government to trade away the lives of its own citizens and those of millions around the world.

Everyone has asked the European Commission to stop this disastrous trade game. The UN, the World Health Organisation, UNITAID, the global fund for AIDS, TB and malaria, the European Parliament. Thousands have taken to the streets to tell the European Commission to stop its deadly policies. International health groups have told the European Commission that the lives and health of people are not for sale.

The European Commission refuses to listen.

These coffins are delivered to you from across the developing world to convey to you the very real and very serious consequences of your trade policies.

We will not go back to the situation when we got no treatment. Generic medicines from india saved our lives. We will not allow you to shut down the pharmacy of the developing world.

The European Commission must immediately:

☛ Remove all provisions from the EU – India FTA negotiations that threaten access to medicines – and from all other FTA negotiations

☛ We demand that all provisions related to intellectual property in the FTA are removed including enforcement measures, patent term extension and data exclusivity. We also demand the removal of investor protection provisions. Make the negotiating text public now.

☛ Withdraw from the anti counterfeiting trade agreement (ACTA)

Your other secretly negotiated trade agreement also threatens access to medicines. We demand that you withdraw from acta immediately.

☛ Place the human rights of people in developing and least developed countries over your disastrous trade policies

We stand in solidarity with all other peoples and movements whose rights to life, health, livelihood, equality, equity, food, environment, knowledge, traditional systems of life and livelihood will also be negatively impacted by your free trade agreement that threatens to widen the gap between the rich and the poor not only between countries but within India as well.