MSF calls for public support of the DOHA declaration on TRIPS and public health

One year after the World Trade Organisation reached an accord on November 14, 2001, declaring that WTO patent rules should not prevent WTO member countries from taking measures to protect public health or promoting access to medicines for all, rich countries and the multinational drug companies are trying to water down and limit possible solutions to this problem. At the time, ministers also agreed to correct an absurd and damaging anomaly in the WTO patent rules that allows developing countries to import cheaper generic medicines, but restricts producer countries from exporting them. MSF believes that rich countries must honour their commitments made at Doha and agree to lift WTO restrictions on exports of cheaper generic medecines. In a coordinated campaign with a wide range of NGOs (see bottom of page for complete list), MSF is asking that you become involved and email or write to Pascal Lamy, Trade Commissioner for the European Commission and Mr. Robert Zoellick, chief US trade representative and ask them, in your own words, to actively support a solution that allows developing countries to obtain affordable generic versions of vital new medicines. Ask them to agree to a solution, by the agreed deadlines of December 2002, in line with developing country proposals and the spirit and letter of the Doha Declaration, which:
  • is fair, permanent, and permits economically viable production
  • is beneficial to all developing countries, and covers all health products
  • is quick and simple for developing countries to operate
  • is free from extra WTO obligations on developing countries E-mail and Mail addresses: Pascal Lamy Trade Commissioner European Commission Rue de la Loi 200 Brussels Belgium Robert B. Zoellick, U.S. Trade Representative 600 17th Street NW Washington D.C. 20508 Canadians may also send a letter to: Honourable Pierre Pettigrew Minister for International Trade Associated NGOs: Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, ActionAids Alliance; Consumer Project on Technology US; Health GAP, US; Health Action International; Lawyers Collective' HIV/AIDS Unit, India; Medecins sans Frontieres; Oxfam International; Thai NGO Coalition on AIDS and Thai Network of People with HIV/AIDS; Third World Network; Treatment Action Campaign, South Africa.