Student Stop AIDS Campaigners have come together to voice their deep concerns about the harmful provisions currently being negotiated in the free trade agreement between the EU and India that would restrict access to affordable medicines.
Yesterday, over 3000 activists from across Asia marched through New Delhi to urge the Indian government to stand strong amid pressure from European Commission. At their national training in Edinburgh, student campaigners from Aberdeen to Brighton stood in solidarity with them to express their opposition to the TRIPS+ terms being imposed on the country which produces 80% of Africa’s HIV drug supply.
Rebecca McDowell, President of SOAS Stop AIDS Society said,
“Millions of people in developing countries rely on affordable generic medicines produced in India to stay alive. But the European Commission is pushing aggressive policies that will severely restrict people’s access to these life-saving medicines.”
Europe’s attack is taking a number of different forms the most damaging of which is so-called ‘data exclusivity’, a provision which would cripple the supply of vital HIV drugs to the developing world by restricting the use of clinical trial data by generic manufacturers.
Lotti Rutter, coordinator of the Student Stop AIDS Campaign said,
“If Europe succeeds, millions of people could see their source of affordable medicines dry up, as generic companies will no longer have the space to produce or sell them. With the real danger of not meeting the Millennium Development Goals a reality, the EC’s focus on intellectual property enforcement is hypocritical and immoral. It will deepen global health inequity, and exacerbate the problem that millions of people face in accessing life-saving medicines.”
The Student Stop AIDS Campaign has written to Vince Cable, Minister for Business, Innovation and Skills today to demand that the UK government expresses its opposition to the inclusion of data exclusivity in the EC-India Free Trade Agreement and the other aggressive policies which will put millions of lives at risk. The campaign wants the department to publically and privately press the EC to stop pushing for the inclusion of these harmful provisions.
Cat Currie, President of Edinburgh Stop AIDS Society commented,
“With 80% of the generic medicines used in the developing world being sourced directly from India, it is drastically important that we stop these provisions from being implemented. We are standing in solidarity with those living with HIV in India and beyond to deliver one message to the Indian government: Don’t trade away our lives in the EU-India FTA.”