STOP THE SPIN: MSF open letter to European Trade Commissioner De Gucht

Dear Commissioner de Gucht,
We write to you today as a medical organization that is deeply concerned about the damaging impact the European Commission’s current trade policies will have on patients’ lives. Medecins Sans Frontieres relies on affordable generic medicines to treat people in more than 60 countries – over 80% of HIV medicines we use to treat over 160,000 people are from India.

We have previously corresponded with you and our colleagues have met with members of your cabinet. We note that you have made some efforts to address concerns but many areas remain that will create additional barriers to production, distribution and sale of generics. The Commission’s policies, despite your assurance to the contrary, also by far exceed international trade rules as set out in the TRIPS agreement.

Problems with the EU-India Free Trade Agreement (FTA): Read the Open letter to the Trade Commissioner De Gucht.

MSF PRESS RELEASE MSF to EU: Stop the spin, the backdoor policies and the closed-door negotiations that threaten access to affordable medicines

Brussels – As negotiations on an EU-India free trade agreement (FTA) resume in Brussels today, international medical humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is calling on Europe’s highest trade official to halt actions that will dramatically restrict access to affordable generic medicines produced in India.

“European Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht is attempting to give Europe’s pharmaceutical industry a backdoor to monopolies that lead to high drug prices and will keep pills out of reach of patients,” said Dr. Tido von Schoen-Angerer, Director of MSF’s Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines. “India has a patents law that is strict about what does and what doesn’t deserve a patent, but Europe is using dirty legal tricks to get around this law and block cheaper generic medicines.”