India formally announced at the UN High
Level Meeting on HIV and AIDS that it will not accept data exclusivity, a
provision harmful to access to affordable medicines, as part of a free trade
agreement currently being negotiated with the European Union.
KEI has received a copy of a May 16, 2011 letter from Karl De Gucht to Andris Piebalgs, which discusses (1) the EU-India FTA, and (2) Relations between IPR and development policies.
Nations currently negotiating trade deals with the European Union (EU) have been warned that they must resist European demands which could threaten access to medicines in emerging and developing countries.
India will not compromise its stand or take a position on intellectual property rights (IPR), especially on pharmaceuticals, beyond its domestic law and agreements as mandated under the aegis of the global trade body—World Trade Organization (WTO).
After four years of talks, India and the European Union are narrowing down their differences on a bilateral Free Trade Agreement that critics in India and elsewhere say could have a devastating impact on public health by hampering access to life-saving drugs for millions of people.
As free trade agreement talks between Europe and India resume in Brussels today, the international medical humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is deeply concerned about new measures Europe is pushing to restrict the production of affordable generic medicines that MSF and others rely on to treat patients across the developing world.
India today ruled out sharing test data of drugs, or data exclusivity, of Indian pharma firms with developed countries and multi-national companies, and stressed that the provision will not form part of any free trade agreements pursued by the country.
All eyes are on the EU-India trade agreement, and the repercussions it will have on access to medicines in India and other developing countries. At the same time, the EU is in the process of negotiating other trade agreements that could harm or hinder access to medicines, such as this week’s negotiations between the EU and the Mercosur countries.
Amid concerns expressed by the Indian industry, the government today said in Parliament that it will protect the interest of the domestic drug industry while finalising the free trade pact with European Union.
India has sorted out most of its differences with the European Union on production of low-cost generic medicines, ahead of a crucial meeting on a proposed free-trade pact next month, a government official told ET. Civil society groups, however, warn that India should be on its guard to ensure that the intellectual property rights (IPR) regime is not changed to allow extension of patents.
Write to members of Indian governement and European Commission to save affordable medicines and access to life-saving treatments in Africa, Asia and Latin America !
The Korea-EU FTA must be dismantled. And the lives of patients in over 120 countries are on the line regarding the India-EU FTA. What will devastate the Pharmacy of the World must also be stopped.
People in Asia living with HIV and who depend on affordable generic AIDS medicines to stay alive have impressed upon the Indian government to stand strong against European Union demands on the sensitive Intellectual Property (IP) chapter in ongoing Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations.
Thousands of people with HIV and cancer marched through the streets of India’s capital Wednesday to protest a planned trade deal with the European Union that they claim would restrict access to affordable medicines.
The EU’s proposed trade agreement is riddled with intellectual property provisions that would harm India’s 2005 Patent Act and block public-interest rulings such as the Aluvia decision.
"It’s like an ant fighting an elephant. We are one of the weakest and poorest groups and they (the EU and the pharmaceutical industry) are among the richest and strongest."
Kenyan activists have written to the European Union and the Kenya Government, protesting what they term damaging trade agreements such as the European Union-India Free Trade Agreement and the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. They say the pacts would damage the fight against Aids.
Despite all official assurances, the path towards a free trade agreement between India and the European Union this year remains ambiguous, as both sides are unwilling to relax their stand on the biggest stumbling block — the issue of “data exclusivity”.
Marking strong protest against the proposed signing of the European Union-India Free Trade Agreement on IP Provision, a mass protest rally was taken out today jointly by the Centre for Social Development in collaboration with organisation working on drugs and HIV/AIDS, North East Diaglogue Forum, Women Action for Development and Bosco Mangal, Chingmeirong Don Bosco Society, Imphal.
Fears have been raised that cheap life-saving anti-retroviral drugs may no longer be available in Kenya if a trade agreement between the EU and India is concluded.