April 13, 2013 India
As clock ticks towards agreement, MSF warns EU-India free trade deal will harm access to medicines.
The negotiations between the European Union (EU) and India on a free trade and investment agreement have now reached an intense phase, with regular high level meetings to fast-track the conclusion of the agreement.
Today, the Indian Prime Minister will be in Germany and the EU-India FTA is at the top of the agenda. On 14 – 15 April, the Indian Commerce Minister will be in Brussels to iron out the differences on the FTA. The call for early conclusion of EU-India FTA by the negotiating sides has left people living with HIV and MSF deeply concerned.
Nearly 2,000 People Living with HIV will be rallying in the streets of New Delhi today, calling for harmful provisions that could affect access to essential affordable medicines to be removed from the trade deal.
“It is not true that all our concerns on access to medicines have been addressed. Enforcement and investment measures will put another nail in the coffin of access to the affordable, quality medicines MSF relies on to treat patients across the world. As treatment providers, MSF could even be at-risk of being embroiled in court cases for simply buying generic medicines over which pharmaceutical companies are fighting IP disputes. India should resist all demands that threaten public health in all their trade negotiations. Surrendering to European pressure so soon after the Supreme Court safeguarded India’s role as a safe haven for generic medicines would be like snatching defeat from the jaws of victory,” said Leena Menghaney, MSF Access Campaign.
MSF is urging India not to sign the agreement unless all concerns related to access to medicines are fully addressed.
Letter dated 14 March 2013 to the Indian Prime Minister clearly outlining what concerns MSF when it comes to the enforcement and investment provisions in the EU-India FTA is available at http://www.msfaccess.org/content/letter-msf-indian-prime-minister-regard…
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