[Ip-health] Fwd: {Forum Against FTAs} Resumption of EU India FTA negotiations - Letter from people living with HIV in India (attached)

leena menghaney leenamenghaney at gmail.com
Wed Mar 30 02:15:06 PDT 2016


Ms. Cecilia Malmström,
European Commissioner for Trade
Brussels, Belgium
cecilia-malmstrom-contact at ec.europa.eu

Re: 13th EU-India summit 30 March 2016
Resumption of India-EU FTA negotiations - Will access to affordable generic
medicines come under threat?

Dear Ms. Malmstrom,

We are writing on behalf of the Delhi Network of Positive People (DNP+) and
International Treatment Preparedness Coalition- South Asia (ITPC-South
Asia), organisations working with and for the PLHIV community with an aim
to achieve universal access to treatment and care.

At the onset on behalf of people living with HIV, we would like express
sincere condolences at the loss of life due to the terrorist attacks in
Paris and Brussels.

Today, Prime Minister Modi and EU officials are expected to announce at the
Summit the resumption of negotiations on a trade and investment agreement
(EU-India FTA). We would like to raise key concerns regarding the status of
negotiations on Intellectual Property (IP) and investment provisions.

The EU-India Free Trade Agreement (FTA) has been in negotiations since
2007. From the outset, the European Commission has pushed to include
provisions that would undermine India’s ability to produce affordable
medicines on which millions of people in developing countries rely.

In 2011, certain provisions damaging to access to medicines such as patent
term extensions and data exclusivity have been removed by EU negotiators
and/or rejected by the Indian Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion
(DIPP) from the proposed text. (See: http://goo.gl/CFxr1V). We hope that
the EC will stand by its position and promises made publicly to people
living with HIV and not try to bring these back into the discussions
(directly or indirectly) with the Indian negotiators and its ministers.

DNP+ also requests the EC to take other harmful IP provisions out of this
trade deal, such as:

1.INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ENFORCEMENT text includes a number of different
measures (criminal sanctions for IPR infringement, evidence, injunctions
etc.) that attempt to govern the way the
disputes around patents and civil trademark infringements will be managed
by Indian courts. If India signs up to these clauses, the Indian judiciary
will have its hands tied and will no longer be able to balance IP rights
with the right to health of patients. In addition, the negative impact of
excessive border enforcement measures was clearly demonstrated by the
wrongful in transit seizures of generic medicines on their way through the
EU from India to Africa and Latin America. Some of the harmful IP
enforcement provisions are similar to those included in the
Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), a controversial, pluri-lateral
treaty, that did not include India, which was rejected by the European
Parliament by an overwhelming majority after intense public and political
scrutiny.

2.INVESTMENT PROVISIONS:We would also like to draw your attention to the
negotiations on the investment provisions. As negotiations are likely to
pick up pace on the investment chapter, we specifically request the EC to
not extend the definition of investment to include intellectual property
and to exclude the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism. If
included in the trade deal, the EC will be further expanding and supporting
a mechanism for multinational companies including drug, tobacco and
chemical companies to sue developing countries like India - outside of
domestic courts in secret arbitration for millions of dollars - when it
regulates health and environment in public interest. Some of these concerns
have also been articulated in the negotiations between the European
Commission and the United States on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment
Partnership (TTIP), especially when it comes to unclear definitions that
leave too much room for abuse. While some of the proposed changes to the
ISDS system put forward by the European Commission - in the context of TTIP
and future FTAs - seek to improve oversight and transparency of the system,
the inclusion of IP as an investment remains a serious threat against
countries’ right to curb IP to protect of public health.

In the past,the EC has consistently demanded that India keep the process
and content of the FTA negotiations secret. However, we note that the
Commission has changed policy and that it intends to apply the same level
of transparency with regards to the mandate given by the EU Member States
and negotiation texts proposals as it has done in the context of TTIP. We
expect that this policy is urgently implemented for all existing proposed
negotiating texts from the EU-India FTA.

Finally, the TRIPS agreement – which has bound India to introduce a product
patent system in 2005 - has already begun to curtail the country’s ability
to produce low-cost generic versions of newer
HIV, hepatitis and cancer medicines. We trust that the European Union
recognized for its respect for human rights, will not push India to accept
TRIPS Plus IP provisions in the trade negotiations that will undermine
India’s ability to continue producing and supplying life saving medicines
to governments and millions of patients across the world.

So many lives – including patients in the EU - depend on it worldwide.

Awaiting a response to our concerns,

Sincerely,

Paul Lhungdim, President, Delhi Network of Positive People (DNP+), Phone:
+91-9810769267
Loon Gangte, Coordinator, International Treatment Preparedness Coalition-
South Asia, Ph: +91-9871029514


Cc.
Mr. Tomasz Kozlowski, Ambassador and Head of the Delegation of the European
Union to India
Head of cabinet, Ms. Maria Åsenius: maria.asenius at ec.europa.eu
Deputy head of cabinet, Mr. Miguel Ceballos Barón:
miguel.ceballos-baron at ec.europa.eu
Assistant to Commissioner Ms. Helen Cogels: helen.cogels at ec.europa.eu
Mr. Neven Mimica, Commissioner for International Cooperation and
Development, cab-mimica-webpage at ec.europa.eu
Head of Cabinet: Mr. Niels Behrndt: nils.behrndt at ec.europa.eu
Member of Cabinet, Mr. Denis Cajo:denis.cajo at ec.europa.eu
Mr. Anders Jessen, Head of Unit IP and Public Procurement,
anders.jessen at ec.europa.eu

--
Leena Menghaney
Mobile: 9811365412



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