UNAIDS Praises India’s Vow Not To Negotiate Away Generics 06/07/2011 by Intellectual Property Watch Leave a Comment 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)The joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) today praised the commitment made by India’s Commerce Minister not to negotiate stronger intellectual property rights provisions that could undermine India’s global leadership in the production of affordable generic AIDS drugs. Indian Commerce Minister Anand Sharma met today with UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. India produces the vast majority of the world’s generic first-line antiretroviral drugs but is under pressure in free trade negotiations with the European Union and others to take steps that public health advocates fear would undercut India’s ability to supply generic versions of patented drugs. According to UNAIDS, Sharma has agreed to protect India’s right under the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) to use flexibilities to IP rights, such as compulsory licences. He also said India rejects data exclusivity clauses in free trade agreements. Exclusivity extends the period during which generics producers cannot access the information about the drug needed to start producing copies. African countries would be most affected by limits on India’s production. The UNAIDS press release is here. Generic production has significantly lowered costs of treatments, but stronger patent rules could make it harder to produce generics of new drugs in the future, which UNAIDS said would dramatically increase the cost of treatments. “The Government of India reaffirms its full commitment to ensure that quality generic medicines, including antiretroviral drugs, are seamlessly available, and to make them available to all countries,” Sharma said. “India will also use the flexibilities allowed under TRIPS, including the use of compulsory licensing, to ensure that people living with HIV have access to all life-saving medicines.” Sidibé called on India, Brazil, South Africa, China and Russia, to forge an alliance with other high-income countries to ensure affordable drugs and health care remain available. UNAIDS said. “Current treatment approaches are not sufficient to provide access to all who need it. UNAIDS and other partners advocate for Treatment 2.0—a framework that seeks to simplify the way treatment is currently provided. For this approach to succeed, TRIPS flexibilities as well as innovation and protection of intellectual property rights will play an important role for treatment access in the future.” 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 "UNAIDS Praises India’s Vow Not To Negotiate Away Generics" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.