Protect Access To Low-Cost HIV/AIDS Medications In The Developing World
Currently, an international free trade agreement between the European Union and India is under negotiation. New provisons, being pushed by many EU member states and pharmaceutical companies, could be very harmful to generic production of affordable, life-saving quality medicines. The impact is severe: The lives of millions are at stake.
Pharmaceutical companies in India, producing generic medicines today under the current trade agreement, supply over 50% of the world's HIV/AIDS drugs and over 90% of the needs of developing countries. Known as the "Pharmacy to the World", the Indian pharma industry needs continued protection to deliver on their public health mission.
Please send a message to the EU and Indian trade ministers supporting a policy of access to low-cost, generic medicines for patients around the world who cannot afford brand-name options.
Trade discussions are happening now. Your voice is needed now.
- Member of the European Commission
Karel De Gucht
- Minister of Commerce & Industry, Government of India
The European Commission is in favor of new trade policies and agreements with India that will greatly restrict access to affordable medicines for people in developing countries. With these new trade provisions, people who rely on these medicines to stay alive will be left without a lifeline and many are likely to die.
While drafting a new trade agreement, I urge you to take the following actions immediately:
• Do not include a "data exclusivity" provision to pharmaceutical companies, which delays manufacture of generic drug alternatives
• Allow generic medicines to easily transit through Europe on their way to patients in developing countries by amending the EC customs regulations now.
• Ease restrictions on production and supply of generic medicines through anti-counterfeiting policies like ACTA, the international anti-counterfeiting trade agreement.
For those who desperately need these affordable, life-saving medicines all over the developing world, I ask that you negotiate a new agreement that is committed to supporting access to medicines for all.
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