Civil society groups in India and across the world protest against EU-India FTA http://www.bilaterals.org/article.php3?id_article=17176
A petition created by the Working Group of Intellectual Property (GTPI) of the Brazilian Network for the Integration of People (REBRIP) entitled “Civil Society Against the EU-India Free Trade Agreement” was supported by 651 persons from several places of the world. This petition manifests concern about the negative consequences of the proposed India-EU FTA for the procurement of cheaper generic Indian medicines, which are important for the sustainability of policies for guaranteed access to medicines in Brazil and other Latin American countries.
The petition is going to be sent to the European Commission, European Parliament and the Indian Embassy in Brazil.In another move, Indian civil society and public health groups today submitted a joint letter signed by several organisations and individuals to the Government of India protesting against the FTA and demanding that it hold public consultations on FTAs it is negotiating, including the India-EU FTA.India is currently negotiating several FTAs, most importantly with the EU, Japan, and the European Free Trade Association, that are likely to drastically reduce access to newer medicines for people living with HIV, cancer and other diseases, both in India and other developing countries.
Limited access to leaked draft documents make clear that India’s trading partners in the North would like India to dramatically expand intellectual property protection, well beyond those required under India’s current international obligations, including the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement. For instance, the European Union is attempting to restrict use of TRIPS-flexibilities and pushing for TRIPS-plus provisions—such as patent term extensions, data exclusivity, patent linkages and additional border measures that may block the free transit of medicines—which will delay entry of generics medicines into the market.
India’s present patent law was crafted specifically to ensure both access to medicines and TRIPS-compliance. If India agrees to any of the demands of the developed countries, it will have an impact on access to medicines—not only for patients in India, but in developing countries as far as Brazil. Indian generic pharmaceutical companies provide low-cost, high quality generic drugs to large parts of the developing world and numerous international drug dispensing programmes.