Health Advocates Demand U-Turn In EU Trade Policy To Align With Its Health Objectives 29/09/2014 by Catherine Saez, 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)Health Action International Europe, and Oxfam today issued a briefing paper entitled, “Trading Away Access to Medicines: How the European trade agenda continues to undermine access to medicines.” The paper argues that new concerns such as the ebola virus and the threat of unchecked antimicrobial resistance show the need for a new model for financing pharmaceutical research and development. In particular, they asked that the members of the new European Parliament and EU member states ensure “that the incoming European Commission defends a trade and R&D [research and development] model that is coherent with its development and public health objectives.” According to the briefing paper [pdf], the lack of vaccine or treatment for the Ebola virus, or the issue of antimicrobial resistance, highlight insufficient innovation and the need for “new ideas of how to finance pharmaceutical research and development.” One-third of the world’s population, over 2 billion people, “do not have regular access to the essential medicines that they need,” particularly in low and middle income countries (LMICs), the groups said. However, they remarked, “the European Commission (EC) has implemented a trade agenda that favours the commercial interests of the multinational pharmaceutical industry over the health of people in LMICs.” Elsewhere, they cited the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), through which, according to the groups, medicines prices could rise in Europe. According to the paper, the EU has been “exerting pressure on LMICs to prevent the use of TRIPS [World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights] public health safeguards and flexibilities to reduce medicines prices,” and “using technical assistance programmes to further export excessive IP standards.” They request that “a U-turn on trade and R&D policies” be undertaken in the next five years, and in particular not to introduce TRIPS-plus and investment protection measures in free trade agreements, “detrimental to access to medicines, and/or which limit the public-health space.” 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 Catherine Saez may be reached at email@example.com."Health Advocates Demand U-Turn In EU Trade Policy To Align With Its Health Objectives" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.