AIDS Patients Protest EU-India Trade Agreement 12/03/2010 by Intellectual Property Watch 3 Comments Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Patients with HIV/AIDS today protested in New Delhi against negotiations for a European Union-India free trade agreement that they say will restrict access to cheaper versions of critical medicines in developing countries. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF, or Doctors without Borders) said in a statement that India is the source of more than 90 percent of the world’s AIDS medicines but that higher levels of intellectual property rights protection in the bilateral deal with Europe could impose new standards that allow drug companies to keep prohibitively high prices on those medicines. “Lifelong treatment for people living with HIV depends on continued access to newer AIDS medicines,” Loon Gangte, president of the Delhi Network of Positive People (DNP+), said in the statement. “Because of international trade rules that India has already signed in the past, some of our newer AIDS medicines are already patented and completely unaffordable. We are protesting against India’s accepting terms that would further compromise access to life-saving medicine.” “India is the pharmacy of the developing world. So the impact of this also stretches far beyond India,” said MSF Campaigner Leena Menghaney. Measures Europe is seeking such as data exclusivity, which delays the registration of generic medicines, and an extension of the patent term beyond 20 years, are unnecessary under international rules, MSF asserted. In addition, it said, “after multiple incidents of seizing Indian generic medicines in transit to other developing countries in Latin America, and Africa, the EU is now seeking to legitimise such measures by forcing India to adopt them in the FTA.” A European response was not available at presstime. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related "AIDS Patients Protest EU-India Trade Agreement" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.