Call for moratorium on trade provisions that threaten access to medicines or treatment programmes

Governments must implement meaningful actions that actually have an impact on getting life-saving drugs, including second-line treatment to the people that need them.

In a single day more than 45 organizations from over 40 countries signed onto a petition calling for a moratorium on free trade provisions that threaten access to medicines and sustainability of treatment programs. The signatories include NGOs, PLWHA, doctors, academics, lawyers, activists, scientists, faith-based organizations, transgendered groups, health care practitioners and individuals.

The petition is an urgent response to the growing evidence that mechanisms such as the August 30th Decision, lauded by the WTO as solutions to the access to medicines crisis, are failing.

Governments must implement meaningful actions that actually have an impact on getting life-saving drugs, including second-line treatment to the people that need them. Putting a stop to provisions in bilateral and regional trade agreements that actively subvert access to medicines is the first step in that direction.

Petition: ACCESS TO TREATMENT, PEOPLE BEFORE TRADE

"We the participants attending the XVI International AIDS Conference demand that our governments and trade negotiators protect the public from the potential negative consequences of bilateral and regional trade agreements on public health. These agreements enforce even stronger standards of intellectual property protection than imposed by the WTO TRIPS Agreement.

"Current WTO intellectual property rules are already making it difficult for countries to access affordable medicines.

"WTO countries must commit to a moratorium on any new bilateral and regional trade agreements that include provisions involving intellectual property rights and medicines. All WTO Members must agree they will not enforce any provisions in a manner contrary to the 2001 Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health in such agreements."

Signatories:

Stephen Lewis | Yvonne Chaka Chaka (Princess of Africa Foundation) | Act Up - Paris, NY, Philadelphia | Action Aid International, Nepal | Agua Buena | AIDS Access Foundation, Thailand | Association Nationale de Soutien Aux Seropositifs et Sideens du Burundi (ANSS) | Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers | Association de lutte contre