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EU-India free trade negotiations threatening access to medicines
journal contributionposted on 2012-10-01, 00:00 authored by K Bhardwaj, Hans Lofgren
Indian firms are major global producers of relatively affordable generic medicines. Access to such drugs makes the difference between life and death for billions of people in the Global South. The Economist noted recently that ‘America should not use trade deals to swaddle drugmakers in excessive patent protections’. Nor should the European Union (EU) impose obstacles to the supply of generic drugs by Indian firms beyond those already mandated by the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement. Free trade negotiations between the EU (reported to be close to completion) constitute a clear threat to the role of India as the ‘pharmacy of the developing world’.