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Press HAI Europe Press at haieurope.org
Fri Apr 29 09:08:08 PDT 2011

EU-Mercosur Trade Negotiations: What Fate for Access to medicines?

29 April 2011


Trade negotiators from the EU and Mercosur countries (Argentina, Brazil,
Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela) will meet next week from 2 to 6 May in
Asuncion, Paraguay for the latest round of negotiations toward an
Association Agreement between the two blocs, and public health advocates
are watching with concern. Access to medicines in emerging and
developing countries may come under threat if the EU continues to push
for its over-reaching intellectual property (IP) demands in the trade
pillar. Discussions on IP issues as part of the EU-Mercosur Association
Agreement already started during the last round of negotiations in March
this year, and it is likely that the two sides will present negotiating
texts in Asuncion next week.

The EU's IP demands in the EU-India trade negotiations have already
sparked great controversy amongst civil society, international agencies,
and developing country governments, and the Indian government recently
rejected EU proposals on data exclusivity.  India's role as the
"pharmacy of the developing world" would have been compromised, as well
as access to affordable generic medicines not only in India, but also in
the many countries that rely on Indian-produced generics. 

Mercosur negotiators must also stand firm to resist EU demands for IP
provisions that have damaging consequences for public health. As part of
the Global-Latin American and Caribbean Alliance for Access to
Medicines, HAI Europe works closely with civil society in Mercosur
countries to raise awareness and campaign to ensure that health budgets
and access to medicines in the region are not put under further strain
as a result of a trade agreement with the EU. 

Published ahead of negotiations, a HAI Europe Policy Brief highlights
the adverse effects of stringent IP provisions proposed by the EU in
trade agreements, including proposals on data exclusivity, patent
extensions, and IP enforcement, which can have disastrous effects on
access to medicines; weakening competition from generic medicines and
sustaining monopoly prices.

The complete policy brief is available at:



For more information please contact:

Terri Beswick: terri at haieurope.org or Sophie Bloemen:
sophie at haieurope.org



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